By LeaAnne Klentzman
A collection of alphabet soup law enforcement agencies have been trying to capture a gang of bank robbers that struck in Fort Bend County last week. The FBI, HPD, SLPD, MCPD, HCSO and FBCSO have all been watching the moves of a group of aggressive bank robbers that target grocery store banks.
Their most recent strike was last Thursday morning at the Wells Fargo Bank inside the Randall’s grocery store on New Territory Boulevard near Texas 99. According to Sheriff’s spokesperson Bob Haenel, the Wells Fargo bank was robbed at about 9:20 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011. Haenel said, “Two masked suspects, described as black males, entered the bank at about 9 a.m. After receiving an undetermined amount of cash, they began their exit. At that time, a Harris County Sheriff’s Department sergeant entered the grocery store and confronted the robbers.”
As Harris County Sergeant Mike Ellison entered the store, as a customer, he realized what was happening and exchanged gunfire with two of the suspects. In the gun battle Ellison sustained two bullet wounds but managed to maintain his composure until he believed the other customers in the store were safe according to reports. A call of ‘Officer Down’ went out and a perimeter was immediately set up in the surrounding area. Eventually it was revealed that the suspects had fled the area before the perimeter was set.
Sergeant Ellison was taken by LifeFlight to Houston for medical treatment for two non-life threatening gunshot wounds; one to his shoulder and another to the leg. Sgt. Mike Ellison is a 26-year veteran with the Harris County Sheriff‘s Office where he works as a detective. He is also the lead pastor at Zion Hill Missionary Baptist Church on FM 762 just south of Richmond. He is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries.
One of the suspects was reportedly wearing a white hoodie pullover with a distinctive skull pattern on the front and back of the hoodie. The front pattern depicts a white skull on a black and green background, while the pattern on the back has two skulls on a black and green background. Both suspects reportedly wore ‘doo-rags’ covering their faces.
Haenel said, “The suspects drove up in a black Dodge Durango vehicle which was later determined to be stolen.” After the robbery and gunfight with Sergeant Ellison the robbers were seen fleeing the scene in a small dark-colored vehicle, not the Durango.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has joined Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers and Crime Stoppers of Houston in offering rewards for information leading to the apprehension of and the filing of charges against subjects involved in a bank robbery Thursday, Aug. 4 in the New Territory subdivision.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. has posted a $25,000 reward for the capture of suspects involved in this robbery payable through the Crime Stoppers of Houston for information leading to the apprehension of and prosecution of the three or more suspects involved in this robbery. The $25,000 reward will go to tips received through the Crime Stoppers of Houston hotline at 713-222-TIPS (8477).
Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for tips that lead to arrests and charges against the suspects by calling its hotline at 281-342-TIPS (8477).