AUSTIN -- Austin police are investigating four robberies early Sunday morning, and a fifth Sunday evening that may be related. Young men wearing hockey masks are believed to have used a hand gun to steal wallets and other items. No one was injured.
The first robbery was reported at 1:13 a.m. in the 800 block of Lambie, near I-35 and Cesar Chavez.
"It's usually a real mellow area," says Emmett Butler, who lives in the area. "They're building it up; nice neighborhood."
When men wearing hockey masks used a handgun to steal someone's guitar, wallet and cellphone there, Butler says it makes him think they were targeting people parking there going to nearby bars.
"It seems to me like the most of the people that show up to go to these clubs are upper class people, because they're driving nicer cars."
The three or four masked men were described only as young and Hispanic and left in a silver four-door car.
Robbers then held up a pizza delivery driver on East 10th Street at 1:37 a.m., leaving that scene in a tan Honda Civic or Accord.
In yet another robbery at 10th and Waller at 2:13 a.m., the men left in a blue Chevrolet Cavalier.
Resident Dorothy Joy says the area is usually quiet, but is seeing growth.
"You know the neighborhood is building up. We have this condo down there. There are a lot of people moving into the area," Joy said.
She says she walks and takes the bus and never has problems but will start taking extra precautions.
The fourth armed robbery happened on East 3rd Street, where residents like Jill Najar say they're also seeing growth, and visitors parking nearby to go to bars.
"This has always been kinda an old neighborhood, old family neighborhood. And we're seeing lots and lots of younger people, but especially up on 6th Street, you know, with the growth of the bars."