FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The holiday shopping season is upon us, but beware there are armed and dangerous holiday Grinches lurking.
In Fort Worth, crooks have already made their presence and intentions known. The area in and around South Hulen has been a recent hot bed for criminals preying on unsuspecting ATM customers, diners and shoppers.
Shopper Don Carlson realizes the potential danger. “Everybody knows that crime picks up around the Christmas shopping season, because people are out and they have money,” he said.
During a six-day period there were a string of eight robberies in the area, with thieves not only taking victim’s money but also assaulting them with hits to the face and over the head with handguns.
As it stands, Fort Worth police have arrested two teenagers in connection with the attacks, but a third suspect is still on the loose.
Do you recognize this suspect? He attacked a customer loading groceries into her vehicle on Nov. 17 on Crowley Rd. Hit her over the head with a gun & stole $.
Please call 817-392-4382 with any information. pic.twitter.com/gwIF59MIAK
— Fort Worth Police (@fortworthpd) November 25, 2019
The victim said a man approached her and demanded her car keys. When said no he hit her over the head with a gun and took cash from her purse. The suspect in that case has not been caught.
Police are offering some safety tips for shoppers that are useful year-round:
- Be sure to locate your keys prior to going to your vehicle
- Avoid overloading yourself with bags and packages
- Ask mall or store security for an escort to your vehicle
After the recent attacks and robberies, Fort Worth police has increased their presence around the Hulen Mall and other busy retail locations.
“Every year, usually after Thanksgiving time, we do have officers specific in areas like the mall – Hulen Mall, Ridgmar Mall – and their presence is there specifically in those area,” explained FWPD Officer Ivan Gomez. “It’s saturated there to prevent crime.”
Anyone with information about the past robberies or wanted suspects is asked to contact Fort Worth police at 817-392-4382.