Witness helps police track down robbery suspects

By Sophia Beausoleil - Reporter

HOUSTON - Employees at a doughnut shop are OK after a man with a hammer and another with a gun robbed the store Wednesday afternoon, according to Houston police.

Authorities said the robbery happened at the Shipley Do-Nuts at 6701 Pinemont Dr. around 3:35 p.m.

What happened

An employee, who KPRC 2 is calling “Victoria” to conceal her identity, said people walked in and demanded money.

"They were just signifying, like, give me the cash or I’m going to shoot you, it was fast, a blink of an eye, it was just fast,” Victoria said.

She said one of the suspects pointed the gun at her co-worker’s head and said in Spanish, “Don’t move, I’m going to shoot you. Open the cashier and give me the money.”

“It was shocking because it was my first time, our first time (being robbed), and it was really scary,” Victoria said.

The co-worker opened the register and gave the suspects the cash.

“Our lives are more important in my opinion,” Victoria said about complying with the suspects' demands.

Witnesses help track down suspects

Victoria said the two men ran out of the store, but the doughnut shop sits on the corner of Bingle Road and Pinemont Drive, a very busy intersection in northwest Houston.

Because it was the middle of the day in broad daylight, several drivers saw the suspicious activity. Some took pictures and gave the images to the employees to give to the police.

One man, who KPRC Channel 2 News is calling Bob to protect his identity, said he helped police locate the suspects.

“I guess you could either say, ‘right place, right time’ or ‘wrong place, right time,’ but I just couldn’t let them get away,” Bob said. “I come here (to the Shipley Do-Nuts) a lot, so I just I would have felt bad not doing something, so I’m glad they caught them.”

Bob said he was sitting at the red light at the intersection of Bingle and Pinemot when he noticed something suspicious.

"I just happened to look over and I see someone run out the door of the Shipley’s and it looked kind of odd,” he said. “When I saw he had a gun in his hand, and I saw a second guy come out and he was carrying a hammer, and they started running northbound up Bingle.”

Bob said he made a U-turn when the light turned green and followed the suspects.

“As I drove by the church here to see where they were going, they actually got into a silver car that was waiting for them,” he said. “They started coming out onto Bingle and I kept straight as I was calling 911 and let them know that the car that was behind me had just robbed the Shipley’s.”

He said at first he was nervous because he knew the guy had a gun and was worried that they knew he had turned around to follow them.

Bob said the suspects were behind him but drove past him.

“Once they got around me I told the operator they had gotten past me and when they got far enough in front of me I went ahead and gave the license plate number, and the make and the model of the car,” he said.

He said the suspects parked at the Jack in the Box near Little York Road. Bob said he parked close by to keep an eye on them and keep the operator updated with their location.

According to Bob, one of the suspects, the one with the hammer, went inside the restaurant while the other two sat in the silver Nissan Versa.

“So when the police officer showed up they had their guns out and pointing their guns at the guys in the car, the guy that was walking out walked right in front of the car and acted like he wasn’t with them and that’s when I notified them that that guy was one of them too,” Bob said.

He said an officer called the guy to come back, he looked at the officer and kept walking. Bob said when the officer told the suspect to stop, that’s when he started running.

Arrests

Houston police arrested two of the suspects. The third got away.

The incident was caught on surveillance cameras.

As for the employees, they are shaken up, but grateful to be alive.

“God, he took care of me, and the employees as well, I’m really thankful, you get just one chance at life,” Victoria said.

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