Local restaurant offers food, reward to catch purse thieves

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - A North Houston restaurant is offering a $500 reward or free lunch for a year to help find the three crooks caught on surveillance video stealing the purse of one of their loyal customers.

"These guys are the scum of the earth to take advantage of a beautiful elderly lady like that," said Jarvis Johnson, a former city council member who is part owner of the restaurant.

The 83-year-old woman did not want her name used but says the two men and one woman were smooth and unassuming.

"I don't know why I didn't catch on to it," she said. "I just don't know."

The video outside Aunt Bea's Restaurant in North Houston off Interstate 45 and Tidwell shows a truck drive up as the woman leaves the restaurant on Monday.

Two men get out and tell her she has a dent on the side of her car, while a woman inside the truck explains the damage. As the 83-year-old exits her vehicle to inspect the "damage," you see one of the suspects kick the side of the car to create a dent.

As one of the men shows her the dent , the other reaches inside and steals her purse. They take off about 30 seconds later with purse in hand.

The restaurant says it is offering a reward because it hopes the capture of the thieves sends a message.

"You feed your family by going to wash a car. You feed your family by going to cut grass," said Johnson. "You don't feed your family by stealing from another individual. Especially an elderly person."

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