Owner identifies suspect in Houston family business robbery

Surveillance video shows 1 suspect pistol-whipping owner

HOUSTON - A couple of men robbed a family business Thursday, taking all the cash they could find and pistol-whipping the owner as well.

However, the family said it is fighting back. They have video and photographs that, they said, identifies one of the suspects who is a former customer.

Joel Lopez and his son squeeze a living out of their scrap metal business through hard work and long hours. The two said it's not easy money, but then it's not usually life-threatening, either.

On Thursday, two men showed up while Lopez was alone in the shop. Surveillance video shows one of them pulling a pistol on him, then pushing him into the office.

The men demanded money and put a pistol to Lopez's head to show they were serious.

The two men pawned through the cash drawer and seemed to know there might be extra cash stashed behind the cash tray. Lopez said they demanded more money, then they got rough.

"They were just frustrated there was no more money," said Lopez. "No more money to give."

Lopez said the men pistol-whipped, beat, kicked and choked him, growing more and more angry until finally, pushing his desk over on him as he laid on the floor.

Lopez said he recognized one of the men, a man he identified as 28-year-old Roosevelt Gill, who sold him scrap metal in the past.

Gill is a two-time ex-convict who served time for robbery and burglary.

"Hardworking people around here," said Carlos Lopez, Joel Lopez's son. "You have people like them that don't know what a day's work might be, just come out and take the opportunity to see somebody by themselves and take their money."

So far, no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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