HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A number of work crews have been robbed at gunpoint. It's happening in an area just off MacGregor near Highway 288 in Third Ward. Neighbors there are angry and workers are left uneasy after several lawn and construction crews have had guns pulled on them and they were robbed in broad daylight.
There is disturbing video, caught on a resident's home surveillance camera, showing one of the aggravated robberies as it happens.
”When I parked my car and heard her scream, I ran out to see what was going on and realized there was this guy running away from them with their leaf blower. So I tried to go and chase after him, which I guess I'm lucky I didn't catch up to him because he apparently had a gun,” explains one resident who tried to help the robbery victims. The husband and wife landscaping team who were robbed works for several residents in the area and had their elementary aged son working with them on a weekend.
”So this guy thought it was appropriate to rob someone at gunpoint. This child, he had to watch his mother and father deal with a gunpoint incident, it's very disturbing,” adds an area resident.
Since mid-May, the Houston Police Department has had several reports of work crews robbed in the MacGregor/288 area.
One construction site is now blocked by a fence after a number of workers had expensive tools stolen and one man was robbed. A few streets away, a sub-contractor was also held up by two men.
“Each had a weapon, a handgun, and put it on the guy's head and demanded money, took his wallet,” explains a man who works with one of the robbery victims.
Unfortunately, a number of victims have not called police. The man who robbed the landscaping couple even taunted his victim's about it. “He made some comment about how they will never report him because they are illegals, which was obviously not correct. They were happy to report him to police”.
The robberies have become so concerning, some workers now carry guns. ”Unfortunately I'll have to do it in this area until I go to the next project. (You feel like you have to carry a gun to stay safe?) Correct and I can keep my belongings and mainly to go home safely,” explains one construction worker.
Houston police now have one suspect in custody and are continuing to question others. Police say investigators are working relentlessly to stop this rash of robberies, trying to keep hard working Houstonians protected from people who are taking away not only what they're working for but also taking their sense of security.