Police in Tomball, Magnolia and Montgomery County deputies are searching for a man in connection to a string of robberies around the area.
Police said they believe that robberies at the LaQuinta Inn's in both Tomball and Magnolia, Just Scrubs in Tomball and Magnolia Inn & Suites were all committed by the same perp.
It all started when the man robbed a lone worker at the Just Scrubs store in Tomball Aug. 15.
Detectives said that a white male entered the store on Business 249, after 3 p.m. that afternoon.
"He appeared to be shopping and claimed to be shopping for scrubs for his girlfriend," said Det. Smith of the Tomball Police Department (TPD). "He then went outside, claiming he needed to retrieve his wallet. He came back into the store and asked to wash his hands. He then pulled out a handgun and demanded money, threatening the clerk."
Smith said that the man grabbed about $150 and left the store, towards the nearby Jack in the Box restaurant.
Police then began a large search process, checking other businesses and even using the department's gyrocopter to search from the air.
Several other business owners in the area told police the man had been in their establishments several times over the course of a few hours. He was wearing a light colored Aeropostle t-shirt and a black backpack.
The next day Montgomery County deputies said that a man robbed the clerk at the LaQuinta Inn on FM 1488, near FM 2978. Deputies said the man entered and displayed a handgun, demanding money.
A little more than a half-hour later, the same man walked into the lobby of the Magnolia Inn & Suites and robbed the clerk at gunpoint according to Magnolia Police executive officer James Senegal.
Senegal said the man described as the suspect is caucasian, about 5-foot 8-inches to 5-foot 10-inches tall and wore a black t-shirt, blue jeans, hiking boots and a black backpack.
Tomball Police met with their Magnolia counterparts later that afternoon and decided they were looking for the same suspect.
Then, after the print edition of the Tribune came out with the suspect's photo, the suspect decided to hit again yesterday.
He attempted to rob the Comfort Suites in Tomball, but an alert clerk foiled the attempt.
It was Yami Lopez' first day on the job, when the suspect walked in, waiting on two hotel guests to finish up at the front desk. Lopez immediately recognized the suspect, as her manager had posted the picture from the Tribune at the front desk.
"I took the clipping and taped it to the front desk," said manager Deanna Gray. "I told them if you see someone that looks like him, don't second guess yourself, just call the police."
Lopez called the main police phone line and began to try to explain that she needed assistance, without giving the suspect an idea of who she was talking to.
"She called them and said she was having computer problems and they needed to send someone down here right away," Gray said.
That's when one of the guests at the front desk began to question the man. It must have scared the man enough, because he turned around and walked out. That's when police say he made his way to the LaQuinta Inn and robbed the clerk there. Instead of a handgun, this time the man brandished a knife.
"When he left he looked like he was pretty angry," Gray said.
Police say they have better surveillance photos of the man and are following up some leads garnered from the man's conversation with the guests in the lobby. Police have also recovered one of the shirts the man ditched. They believe he was traveling in a red or maroon older model SUV.
If you have any information contact Tomball Police at 281-351-5451, or the Magnolia Police at 281-356-2500. If you spot the suspect dial 9-1-1.