HOUSTON – Authorities are searching for a suspect who they said is responsible for a violent crime spree that took place last week.
During a news conference with the Houston Police Department on Tuesday, Chief Troy Finner laid out the details surrounding the horrific incident.
According to police, the suspect rode his bike to a Fiesta Mart grocery store in the 11000 block of Airline Drive around 4:45 a.m. on Sept. 9.
The suspect broke into the store and was then caught on camera attempting to move packs of merchandise around, ultimately trying to access the money inside.
Although the store was closed, Finner said there were employees inside stocking the shelves overnight.
It is believed that the suspect then held two of those workers at gunpoint.
HPD said that upon breaking into the store and attempting to rummage for cash, the suspect tripped the alarm system, sending several police units to the area.
When he noticed police closing in on his location, he was able to slip out the back of the store, according to Finner, and move on to his next crime location.
After the first incident, the suspect then reportedly went to a nearby home where a family resides and forced his way in at gunpoint.
Finner said once the suspect entered the home, he terrorized the family who was living inside and ended up sexually assaulting one of them. He asked that the family remain anonymous due to the severity of the crime.
“Wherever he goes, this is a direct message to him, wherever you go, we’ll find you,” Finner added.
The suspect is believed to be a Hispanic man, about 5 feet tall, and weighing around 130 lbs. He was also said to be wearing a Kenneth Cole shirt with a red Cincinnati Reds cap.
Officials are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for any information leading to the suspect.
Additionally, Chief Finner added that if anyone has information, and is concerned about their immigration status when coming forward, it will not play a factor.
“I want to speak to the Immigrant population. Whenever you’re a victim of a crime, or you’re a witness of a crime, there’s no issue with your status,” Finner said. “We could care less here at the Houston Police Department. We want the information. We will protect you. So, anybody that gets any information, if you know this violent suspect, get that information to us. And you will remain anonymous. You don’t have to worry anything about documentation or where you are in your status.”
Finner is asking people who live and work in the area to check their surveillance video to see if they might have captured the man. Investigators want people to look between 4:30 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. the morning or Saturday, September 9th.
“We’re pleading for the public’s help. We have some investigative leads that we’re looking into, but we definitely need some help of the citizens in the area,” said Sgt. LeBlanc with HPD’s Robbery Division.