Organized crime ring behind cell phone thefts across Texas

Police say the same three men have stolen cell phones from stores in Dallas, Austin, Pearland, La Marque and League City.

The theft at the AT&T  store in League City plays out on surveillance video. It starts with one of the men walking in first and distracting the employee.

"Then about 5 minutes later the rest of them will walk in and kind of browse the store to see what's available so to speak," said Prime Communications District Manager Elizabeth Frazee.

Then the one who walked in first starts peppering the store employee with questions, even suggesting the employee go check the stock room to look for a particular item.

"Questions about what type of phone do we have in stock," Frazee said. " I want an iPhone. I really don't care what color it is, what size it is, what rate plan I'm on. They're just looking for an easy grab and an easy pick."

Video shows one man picking up a phone and putting it in his pants.

"Walks out and as soon as he walks out the other ones follow and then they're gone. They never park in front of the location or anywhere that you can see them," Frazee said.

In the last couple of months authorities say the trio has stolen cell phones all over the Lone Star state.