Temple Police Seeking Suspect Behind String of Robberies
Temple Police have released photos and surveillance footage of a suspect they believe may be responsible for a string of robberies over a two-year period in the Temple, Killeen, Belton and Georgetown areas.
According to Temple Police Chief Gary Smith, investigators are looking for a single individual, though they have not ruled out the possibility of multiple suspects. That individual is described as an African American or Hispanic male, approximately 5’10” to 6’2” with an athletic, muscular build and weighing anywhere between 220 to 270 lbs.
During a press conference Thursday, Smith said there is reason to believe that the suspect surveys robbery locations days in advance, possibly from a vehicle or some area of concealment nearby. During robberies, he seems to display knowledge of how the businesses operate. He typically enters and exits those establishments via a rear entrance within an hour of opening or closing or during deliveries, displaying a firearm before demanding cash.
“We would ask citizens who see things that could be surveillance or even just casual observations of people where they probably shouldn’t be - around the backs of businesses in particular - to please call their local police so it can be investigated,” Smith said.
The suspect is said to talk to victims about his life struggles during the robberies. Police have had difficulty identifying the man using surveillance footage because of his habit of wearing thick, concealing clothing and masking his face.
The suspect seems to prefer victimizing businesses near hotels, apartment complexes and major streets. Smith said the suspect is believed to be responsible for approximately 25 robberies beginning in December of 2011, with the most recent having taken place on September 11 of this year. The suspect can be heard shouting “I’ll be back” in one surveillance tape, but he has not robbed any location more than once.
Because there has been at least one bank robbery in this case, investigators with the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Rangers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service are assisting police. Local departments working the case include Temple, Killeen, Belton and Georgetown.
A $10,000 reward is being offered by Bell County Crime Stoppers for any information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects. Anyone with information is urged to call (254) 526-8477.