Police search for Northwest Austin armed robbers


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and photojournalist J.P. HARRINGTON

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE


Posted on January 20, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 20 at 7:21 PM

AUSTIN -- Austin police say they’re ramping up presence in Northwest Austin following a series of armed robberies.

The robberies began Saturday night just before 9 p.m. at a Pizza Hut off Research Boulevard near Spicewood Springs Road. Police said two masked men walked inside, held a gun to an employee and demanded money. The same thing happened 30 minutes later at the Jenny Day Spa two miles away.

Then, in front of a hotel at the Arboretum, police said the two men held up a cab driver who gave them money.

Police also said the men took money from a pizza delivery driver in an apartment complex.

All four robberies happened within 50 minutes, according to police.

People who shop or work in this area said they're surprised to hear about the robberies.

"It’s pretty shocking," said Tim Eager. "It's usually safe around here." 

Carlos Vallejo is a detective with the APD's robbery unit. He said the men ran on foot from all four scenes.

Police are still investigating if the men used a getaway car.

"At this point, the only suspects we have is a very vague description of two black males who appear to be in their late teens to early 20s," said Vallejo.

He said the men are described as skinny, one 5’4" to 5’6" tall and the other between 5’9" and 5’10", both wearing dark hoodies and jeans. They were also described as wearing ski masks with holes cut out for the eyes and mouth.

"It’s showing you that they're desperate and willing to do whatever it takes to get what they need," said Vallejo.

While police said they are going to amp up their presence in this area, employees said they’re going to keep extra watch as well.

Police are looking into if there is surveillance in or near any of the targeted areas. They also said, if you are ever a victim, just do what the robbers tell you because no money or possession is worth your life.