AUSTIN, Texas - The recent robberies at three Austin area 7/11 ’s have three things in common. All the incidents happened in October, all the incidents were apparently committed by the same group of four people, and in each case, ATM cash machines were targeted.
The crimes provide an important safety lesson for customers like Larry King. “To be aware of your surroundings because when you’re complacent that’s when bad things can happen," he said.
The 7/11 on Parmer Lane was the first to be hit on October 5. The following week the 7/11’s on Brodie Lane and also on Metric Boulevard were robbed.
David Holmes, who is a regular customer, just learned about the crimes. “Had I been here, when it went down, I probably would’ve tried to do something to help the situation, if I could, without anybody getting hurt, obviously,” he said.
His advice for the average person is the opposite of what he would do. “Don’t try to be a hero, these places are insured, make sure everybody is safe, let them get what they can and get out, the police will catch them,” said Holmes.
As detectives worked to identify the 7/11 bandits, Austin police during a Thursday afternoon briefing released video and still images of a different group. This group they say is linked to five cases of aggravated robbery.
“So all five of the incidents, the aggravated robbery incidents that we're sending out press releases today are believed to be related. The investigators have determined that by means I cannot discuss at this time. The 7/11 robberies with ATMs is believed to be different from the five we are reporting on today,” said APD spokesperson Officer Kevin Karzan.
On Oct. 8 at the Shell service station near I-35 & Oltorf, three men robbed the clerk at gunpoint. That same day there was an armed robbery at Shepherd’s Market on SouthRidge Dr.
On Oct. 9, two men walked into the 7/11 on William Cannon and robbed the clerk at gunpoint. On the 10th at the Cesar Chavez Circle K, a single gunman robbed the clerk, and on October 12th two men returned to the William Cannon 7/11 and robbed the clerk, again at gunpoint.
Detectives want people to focus in on the suspects' clothing and even their shoes. “Thankfully nobody has been injured in any of these incidents but the Austin Police Department recognizes that these are still violent incidents by nature,” Officer Karzan said.
Officials with APD made a point to ask business owners to check their surveillance equipment, making sure everything is operational and if possible upgrade those systems with higher definition cameras.