AUSTIN, Texas - A warrant has been issued for a San Antonio man accused of participating in a string of T-Mobile store robberies in Houston. He also allegedly robbed one in Austin.
Terrence Morris, 42, has been charged with second-degree robbery by threat in connection with a November 2019 robbery of a T-Mobile store in North Austin.
According to court paperwork, officers responded to a T-Mobile store on Research Boulevard on November 25, 2019, just after 12:30 p.m for a robbery. An employee told officers two black men had entered the store and began stealing display phones. The employee confronted the men and one said something along the lines of "put your hands up or y'all see what happens."
The employee said he was afraid and he did not see a weapon but wasn't sure if the man had one hidden. Surveillance video reviewed later showed two black men enter the store one after the other, one carrying a red gift bag, says court paperwork.
The video shows one of the men picking up a display phone and inspecting the security cable attaching it to the table. The man then walked across the store to another display table, then both pulled wire cutters from their front pockets and started cutting the security cables.
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The video shows the employee confronted the suspect, and a customer he had been helping grabbing her purse and fleeing to the back of the store with a startled look. The suspects removed several phones from the tables and put them in the red gift bag, then left together. Store management reported the two stole a total of 11 cell phones.
Court paperwork describes the two suspects. The first is described as a heavy-set black male with a potbelly, between 5'9" and 6", approximately 250-270 lbs wearing a gray polo shirt, jeans, and black shoes. The second is described as a thin black male between 5'6" and 5'8" approximately 165-185 lbs wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and black tennis shoes.
APD then created a bulletin in January with the surveillance video and distributed it throughout the department and to other law enforcement agencies. In late January, a Houston Police Department detective contacted APD saying HPD was investigating a series of T-Mobile store robberies that appeared to be related to the North Austin robbery. The detective shared surveillance video and APD compared the two, determining that the suspects in the HPD footage were the same suspects involved in the Austin case as they targeted the same store and used the same method to rob the store, says court paperwork.
A Crime Stoppers tip in February led to the identification of one of the suspects, Terrence Morris. APD detectives compared Morris's previous HPD booking photo and Texas driver's license photo to the suspects in the T-Mobile robbery video and determined he had physical characteristics and facial features consistent with the man carrying the red gift bag in the video, according to court paperwork.