HOUSTON – The owner of a frozen yogurt kiosk in the Galleria is hoping the public will help her identify a woman who was seen on camera turning off her yogurt machine and leaving behind a spoiled batch of froyo.
Hang Pham, the owner of a Llaollao Natural Frozen Yogurt franchise, says there had recently been suspicious incidents in which the yogurt machine and refrigerator were discovered turned off when they were supposed to be on.
Pham wasn't sure if it was an oversight by her employees or something more, so she installed security cameras a few weeks ago.
On Sept. 19, when Tropical Storm Imelda hit Houston, the mall was practically empty, so Pham shut down the kiosk early and sent her employee home. The next morning, she came into work to find the yogurt machine was completely off instead of in rest/standby mode.
When she checked the surveillance footage, she saw a woman stop by the empty kiosk about 7:40 p.m.
"It started out kind of innocent, a lady and her daughter or granddaughter walking through. They're coming at an angle to where they're coming straight toward our kiosk and I'm thinking, 'Oh, she's interested in checking us out,'" Pham said.
In the video, the woman seems especially focused on the yogurt machine.
"She does the unthinkable, she reaches over, and she pushes the button so that it just stops the machine. She was just very deliberate in what she did," Pham said.
What damage did it cause?
Pham said she had to throw out the spoiled product and lost out on potential customers because she had to open two hours late to spend time to clean and sanitize the machine, then restart the yogurt making process.
What does the owner want to be done?
Pham said she wants the woman to come forward, "and let us know what she was thinking."
She plans to make modifications to her kiosk to prevent outside access to the machine.
About the store
Llaolloo (pronounced yow-yow) is a frozen yogurt company based in Spain. Pham's kiosk in the Galleria was the first franchise to open in the United States.
Pham filed a police report. Anyone who recognizes the woman is asked to call the Houston Police Department.