Bank robbed inside flagship Gallery Furniture store

- The FBI Violent Crime Task Force is seeking help from the public to identify and find four men who used guns to threaten tellers at a bank inside a Gallery Furniture store in north Houston. To help identify the men, the FBI has released bank surveillance photos from the robbery. There is a Crime Stoppers of Houston reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to their arrests.

The four men arrived to the store parking lot in a stolen white Ford F-250 pick-up truck at 7:10 p.m. Thursday. Three men walked out of the truck and walked up to the store on the North Freeway frontage road near Parker Road. One held the entrance door open and stood watch outside the store, while two men with guns entered the building. The men with guns walked into the Woodforest National Bank within the store. 

One man remained in the bank lobby with his gun drawn and verbally ordered tellers to open their cash drawers, while the second man jumped the counter, grabbed cash from several teller drawers and stuffed the cash inside a turquoise and brown drawstring bag that he was carrying. 

All three men exited the bank and traveled away together in the Ford F-250 driven by the fourth man. The vehicle had Louisiana license plates but was reported stolen from northeast Houston on Wednesday. The stolen vehicle was abandoned near the Gallery Furniture store and law enforcement officers recovered it a short while after the robbery. 

The robbers were able to get away with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was physically hurt during the robbery.

The driver of the Ford F-250 truck was described as a short Hispanic male with curly hair. 

The three men who exited the vehicle were described as black males. The one who held the door open and remained outside the store wore a gray hooded shirt with black horizontal stripes, khaki pants and yellow rubber or latex gloves. 

The second man, who remained in the lobby of the bank giving verbal orders, stands at a height of between 5-feet 8-inches to 5-feet 9-inches tall, weighing between 180 and 190 pounds, with a small-to-medium build.  Witnesses say he sounded young and wore a dark beanie hat, yellow rubber or latex gloves and a black hooded sweatshirt with the lettering "And1" in gray or silver on the front of the shirt. He carried a black pistol in his right hand. 

The third man, who jumped the teller counters and grabbed the cash, was described as a shorter man weighing between 170 and 180 pounds with a slim build. Witnesses say he was more respectful and quiet and replied, "It's O.K., ma'am," when a teller was unable to open one of the drawers. He wore a gray hooded sweatshirt with purple horizontal stripes, black pants, black and white sneakers, gray gloves and orange boxers or shorts underneath his pants. He carried a turquoise and brown drawstring bag during the robbery.

Investigators are also searching for the driver of a black Dodge Challenger that was behind the stolen Ford F-250 as it moved through the lot and parked near the front of the store. The driver of the Challenger may be an important witness in the case.

Anyone with information about the identity of the robber is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers of Houston by phone at 713-222-8477 (TIPS), online by visiting https://www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=610, by text message by sending TIP610 and the information to 274637 (CRIMES) or with the Houston Crime Stoppers in the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store and the Blackberry App World. Crime Stoppers is willing to pay up to $5,000 for any information that leads to the filing of felony charges or arrest of the suspect in this case. People who submit information to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous.

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