Violent robbery attempt was likely an inside job, investigators say

By Aaron Barker - Senior Digital Editor, Cathy Hernandez - Reporter

HOUSTON - A violent attempted robbery that was caught on surveillance video last week is believed to be an inside job, according to investigators.

Travonn Johnson, 27, and Davis Mitchell, 31, were each charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in connection with the Friday attack in a parking along Highway 290 in northwest Harris County.

Investigators said a woman who runs a check-cashing business withdrew $75,000 from a bank near FM Road 1960 and North Eldridge Parkway. The woman was followed from the bank to a gas station along the Northwest Freeway, investigators said.

WARNING! GRAPHIC VIDEO: Surveillance video of the attempted robbery

The surveillance video of the attack showed that as the woman was walking into the gas station, someone jumped out of a dark-colored SUV and tried to steal her purse. A man, who court documents identified as her husband, ran out of the gas station and began defending the woman. The woman briefly escaped before she was tackled by her attacker again, and another man, who jumped out of a dark-colored car, joined in the attempt to steal her purse. The second attacker jumped back into the car and backed over the woman.

Investigators said a deputy constable was on patrol when he spotted the attempted robbery. As he approached, the two attackers tried to escape. The deputy chased down Mitchell and arrested him, investigators said.

Johnson turned himself in to authorities Monday, officials said.

Harris County Pct. 4 Constable's Office

Travonn Johnson, left, and Davis Mitchell, right, are seen in these mugshots released by Harris County, Texas, authorities.

Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said he believes someone at the bank, who is Johnson’s girlfriend, helped coordinate the attack.

“There was someone inside the bank, an employee at the bank, that was possibly involved in this, and we will be getting a warrant for her arrest,” Herman said.

Herman said the Johnson and his girlfriend talked about the robbery attempt via text messages. She is also the person who rented the car that was used in the attack, according to court documents.

The woman who was attacked was left critically injured, investigators said.

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