Tuesday, July 16, 2024


DSC06169At approximately 5 p.m. four Black males dressed in various colored hoodies and gloved exited a stolen Wharton I.S.D Ford F-350 van in front of the AT&T Store located on the northbound feeder of Interstate 45, between Research and SH 242. Within seconds they entered the store and with what is described as almost military precision robbed the store. At least three customers and one employee were ordered into an employee break room as the robbers screamed at them.

The other three males ordered the manager to open the safe where cell phones were kept while at gunpoint.  Using large trash bags they took at least forty to sixty cellphones of different styles. They then ordered two of the employees to open the cash safe while standing behind them with guns on them kneeling, execution-style. The employees were unable to open the safe.

All four then left the store, there was very little information available on them as they moved with such swiftness and precision that both employees or customers were able to give a good description.

As they left in the van a good Samaritan who was going to Sam’s Club with his family saw the men and the way they were dressed and followed them but lost them on David Memorial Drive.  The good Samaritan continued his quest to find the vehicle and did. It was located behind the Park at Woodmoor Apartment Complex on Shenandoah Drive.

A second witness observed all of the suspects enter a black Dodge truck with a toolbox and flee the location striking a parked vehicle as they did.

Officers arrived quickly at both the AT&T store as well as the apartment complex, but the suspects had fled the area. The van was determined to have been stolen from Wharton, Texas last month. Based upon witness statements and video surveillance, the suspects appeared to all be black males wearing jackets and hooded sweatshirts with bandanas over their mouths. One suspect, in particular, was wearing a black baseball cap with the Cincinnati Reds logo on the front.

The Shenandoah Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance in catching these dangerous criminals before they strike again. If you have any information that you think would assist us in capturing this suspect, please call us at 281-367-8952.

In addition, if anyone observed the black truck being left in the apartment complex earlier in the day or saw the Wharton ISD van which was stolen from Wharton on June 30th is asked to call Shenandoah Police.

If you wish to remain anonymous, please call Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392-7867. Remember, if your tip leads to an arrest, you may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

The stolen phones are almost useless in the United States as just over a year ago AT&T has begun banning stolen devices from their network. This has been a long time coming and is a double-edged sword. Verizon and Sprint have always blacklisted devices reported as stolen which makes them unusable to the thief or finder. This ability to render a device useless comes with the potential of innocent people being defrauded in the end.

Never buy a device that you have not tested and made sure works on your account. When buying a device off of Craigslist, meet at a corporate owned store of the carrier and complete the transfer of the device to your account before paying for it. If the seller is not willing to do this, you will know you just stopped yourself from being ripped off. If purchasing from eBay make sure to only pay by PayPal or credit card so you have some recourse if the transaction is fraudulent.

While this post highlights the policy change of AT&T please keep in mind that T-Mobile will be instituting this later this year and all carriers will be sharing stolen device information

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