MISSOURI CITY, Texas – A man and woman have been arrested and are facing charges after authorities said they were targeting shoppers in Missouri City.
Tony Garner, 27, and Sherry Millings, 26, are each charged with two counts of burglary of a motor vehicle and possession of a controlled substance.
Police said Garner and Millings committed the crimes Tuesday in broad daylight in three different parking lots in Missouri City.
The duo burglarized people in the parking lot of a Kroger at 10330 SH 6, the H-E-B shopping center parking lot at 8900 SH 6 and the Walmart parking lot at 5501 SH 6, according to police.
As one of the victims "was getting in her car, she set her purse on her seat. She just turned to lock her car doors when the individual (Garner) entered the passenger door and tried to snatch her purse," Missouri City Police Capt. Paul Poulton said.
In the situation Poulton is talking about, the victim was able to honk her horn, scaring Garner and Millings from the Kroger parking lot, authorities said.
While the pair was unsuccessful in that burglary attempt, they were able to get away with a purse from a shopper's vehicle in an H-E-B parking lot down the road, police said.
The duo was then arrested at a nearby Walmart as they were driving through the parking lot, according to police.
What shoppers are saying
Barbie Oliver has lived in the area for 17 years. She admitted that most of the time she's shopping, she's focused on her to-do list, not her surroundings. The recent crimes have her on edge.
"I should be more careful because I haven't been paying much attention," she said. "I'll be watching what's going on around me and watching the people more closely."
Nakeshie Banks said that after she heard about the crimes, she decided to bring her mother shopping so she wasn't alone.
What police are saying
Missouri City police said that the city is safe, despite the recent crimes.
"There are always individuals that will come into your area to try and take advantage of someone. You always have to be aware of what's going on around you," Poulton said.
Missouri City authorities said they've been in contact with other law enforcement agencies across the city because they think Garner could be involved in other crimes.