HOUSTON - A string of businesses in the Upper Kirby and Montrose areas are being targeted by thieves who pose as customers and snatch expensive computers, frustrating police and store owners alike.
Authorities said they believe the same group of people are responsible for more than a dozen burglaries in the area.
Monica Iza owns and manages a sign and graphics store along Shepherd Drive.
In late June, a group of young men walked into her store, but Monica felt uneasy when she realized they weren't interested in purchasing a sign.
"They didn't even know what kind of business we were. That was the first question they asked," Iza said.
Instead, the men walked around the store, seemingly checking out what was inside. Iza said she had a bad feeling, and told her employees about it as soon as the men left the store.
"I told one of the guys here, please back up my computer because I have a bad feeling we're going to get robbed," she said.
The next morning, Iza came back to the store and noticed the windows were smashed and her Apple computers were missing.
After looking at the surveillance video from the store, Iza noticed the men who broke in were wearing the same clothing as the men who had dropped in the day before.
Houston police are noticing a similar pattern, tied to more than a dozen burglaries or robberies in the surrounding area.
A massage business on the same block as Iza's sign shop was also targeted on Monday.
"He just took the computer from that spot," said owner Jarusphan Patanachoksatien, pointing behind the front desk of the store.
Patanachoksatien said three men came into her massage shop, distracted an employee and ran off with a MacBook.
Police believe the thefts are being committed by the same men or group of men, but that they may be using different vehicles.
The owner of Brave Architecture said his business has been burglarized three times since February with a total of 12 Mac computers stolen.
In the most recent case on July 27, five Apple computers were stolen.
He shared with KPRC2 surveillance images and video of the suspects and their vehicle.
If you recognize the men in this surveillance video, call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
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