Serial purse snatcher targeting women at Houston grocery store

HOUSTON – Police have released surveillance video of a serial purse snatcher targeting women at a grocery store in west Houston.

Both incidents took place at the H-E-B on the I-10 Katy Freeway near Bunker Hill Road.

On the night of May 28, a woman was loading groceries from a shopping cart into her vehicle's trunk when a man driving red Toyota Camry pulled up next to her. The man reached into her cart and took her purse.

Police said the man was seen using her stolen credit card a short time later at a gas station at 3502 Mangum. He was also in the vicinity of T.C. Jester and West Tidwell the next morning, according to police.

Surveillance video captured the second incident, which happened on the night of June 6. A woman was pumping gas into her SUV at the H-E-B, when a man driving a red Toyota Camry without plates parked next to her SUV. He got out, opened his trunk, appearing to look for something, then closed his trunk.

The man then opened the SUV's front passenger door and grabbed her purse. The victim saw it and ran around to the passenger side as the man was climbing into the Camry and shut his door. She was able to open the door, but the man slammed the door and took off. The victim was not injured.

The man is described as Hispanic, in his late 30s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing about 250 pounds. He was wearing blue jeans, a plaid shirt and a baseball cap.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the HPD Robbery Division at 713-308-0700 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.