Robber forces victims to withdraw money from ATM

HOUSTON - A robber is forcing people to drive to an ATM to withdraw money from their accounts. With each new victim, the robber's actions are getting more violent, Harris County Precinct 4 investigators said.

Two Atascocita women hoped to live out their retirement years in the comfort of their Eagle Springs neighborhood.  They don't want to reveal their identities, but say a robber took their money and much more. 

The first victim, in her 60s, pulled her car into her garage at her home on Mitchell Pass Lane. She still had her 7-year-old autistic granddaughter buckled in the back seat when she said a man ambushed her, demanding that she hand over her purse. 

"I gave him the purse and he said, 'We're going to go to your bank and your going to withdraw money,'" said the woman.  She said she watched terrified as the man climbed into her back seat, sitting inches from her granddaughter.  The victim said she drove to a Bank of America ATM ON Atascocita Road and withdrew cash until she reached her limit.

A second victim told Local 2 the robber also caught her as she drove into her garage at her home on Badlands Bend Lane. 

"I didn't quite get out of the car. I was just getting ready to get out and he just appeared there.  He said, 'I hope I don't have to kill you,'" said the woman.  The second victim said the man forced her at knifepoint to drive from her home to the same ATM to withdraw $500. 

"'I'm thankful he didn't have a gun on me.  I know it would've been a lot different, might have been even worse off," said the woman.

Investigators said the robber's third target, a man, didn't fare as well after he was approached at a Shell gas station on Will Clayton Parkway.  They said when the man didn't withdraw enough money from the same Bank of America ATM, the thief hit him over the head with a gun and ran. 

The Precinct 4 Constables Office said it is investigating and adding more patrols to the neighborhood.  They are also pulling surveillance video from the ATM. 

The robber, investigators said, tries to conceal his identity by wearing a painter's mask or T-shirt over his face.  If you have any information about these crimes, call Precinct 4 at 281-376-3472.

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