Entries in Robbers (3)


Thieves Targeting Unlocked Cars at Gas Stations

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(PASADENA, Texas) -- High gas prices are not the only things customers have to fear at the pump; theives targeting unlocked cars may also be a cause for concern.

In Pasadena, Texas, at least four gas station thefts have been reported in November alone, Pasadena Police Department spokesman Vance Mitchell said.

“What happens is people pull into a service station, get out of the car and plug in their card or pay inside, and some do not lock their doors,” he said.  “They leave their purses or other valuables in the front seat, and thieves get in their cars and are gone in less than seconds.”

One of the four cases reported involved a woman who went to pump gas and left her car unlocked because her grandchild was in the back.  A thief entered her vehicle and grabbed her purse from the car.

Surveillance video of the Nov. 6 robbery, released by the Pasadena Police Department, shows a gold Cadillac pulling up to the woman’s van and then speeding off with her purse -- all in less than 10 seconds.

Mitchell said during the holiday season it is even more important for drivers to lock their cars at the pump to avoid being robbed.

“Be especially careful of your surroundings, lock your doors and don’t make items in your car visible,” Mitchell said.  “Also, if you put objects in the trunk make sure to do it ahead of time to avoid someone seeing you.  This also leads to robberies.”

If a driver does notice their car being robbed, Mitchell said to not confront the thief because people do not know what weapons, if any, the robber might have.

“I would tell them to go inside the store, try and get a license plate number, and call the police,” he said.  “It is not worth losing your life for a purse or other object.”

Mitchell said this string of robberies has ended for now, with no more reported incidents in Pasadena since November.

He cautions drivers to be diligent while at the pump and reiterated that the best way to avoid robberies is to “lock your doors.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


New York Robbers Unmasked by Grateful Note for Their Disguise

NYPD(NEW YORK) -- What could have been the perfect crime was undone when the identity of the alleged robbers was unmasked by a grateful note thanking a company for the disguise.

Police arrested Edward Byam, 24, and Akeem Monsalvatge, 37, on Monday and charged them with wearing realistic Hollywood-style masks and dressed as New York City detectives to knock over a Pay-O-Matic check cashing facility on Valentine's Day in Queens, N.Y.

The suspects, wearing NYPD badges and jackets, baseball caps, and dark sunglasses, threatened a clerk by showing her photographs of her home and made off with nearly $200,000, police said.

For months cops thought they were looking for two white suspects, when the investigation received an important tip.

One suspect bore a striking similarity to "Mac the Guy," a silicon mask manufactured by movie-makeup company CFX Composite Effects.

When investigators contacted the company, they were told Byam had recently emailed the firm in thanks for the mask.

"I'm sending this message to say I'm extremely pleased by CFX work on the mask," Byam allegedly wrote the company, as first reported by the New York Post and confirmed by the NYPD and the company. "The realism of the mask is unbelievable."

Byam and Monsalvatge are black.

According to the company's website, "Mac is designed for ultimate human realism." The company sells the silicon mask starting at $569, but it can be customized with fake hair, including the goatee the thieves allegedly used.

Byam had made another critical blunder, police said.

Cops traced the photo of the clerk's home, which was left at the scene of the crime, to a Walgreen's pharmacy where the print was made. The store was able to link a receipt for the prints to Byam's phone number, cops confirmed.

The two men were charged Wednesday with robbery and impersonating an officer and were ordered held without bond. It was unclear whether they had obtained attorneys.

Criminals have increasingly turned to realistic masks in committing crimes.

In 2010, Canadian officials called the use of a mask an "unbelievable case of concealment" when a young Asian man tried entering the country illegally disguised as an elderly white man.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bank Standoff Ends: All Hostages Released, 2 Suspects in Custody

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PEARLAND, Texas) -- Nearly 60 cops and FBI agents surrounded a Texas bank trying to convince a bank robber to release two hostages he was holding at gunpoint.

The mask-wearing bank robber retreated into the bank along with an accomplice about 11:30 a.m. CT Friday when a lone police officer answering a 911 call pulled into the parking lot outside the Chase Bank in Pearland, Texas, and exchanged gunfire with the bank robbers.

During the following standoff Friday, one of the alleged bank robbers surrendered to police and five of the seven hostages were released. With police and authorities holding guns aimed at the bank's doors, the hostages appeared to be unharmed when they left the building. Of the five hostages who were released, at least one was a woman and two were men. It was unclear who the others were.

The woman, wearing a striped shirt, walked to a black SUV parked in front of the bank. She then left the SUV and held her hands up as she walked across the parking lot, eventually breaking into a run.

One of the men was put in handcuffs as he exited the bank, but police said that he is not a suspect.

Meanwhile, a SWAT team was inside the bank negotiating with the remaining robber, who held two more hostages.

After further negotiation, the second robber was also apprehended, while the remaining hostages were freed.  Police say, neither suspect communicated any demands.

The only injury reported was an assault on the bank's manager, Pearland Police Lt. Onesmio Lopez said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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