Good Samaritan or wolf in sheep's clothing?

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - By Bob Hallmark - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - They claim to be good Samaritan's, but police say they could set up East Texans to get robbed. One such incident happened Tuesday night where police were called to a robbery in the 600 block of West Avalon Street.

If you are presented with this scenario, you should definitely be on your guard.

Tuesday night, a woman at a Longview apartment building was alerted by what she thought was a good Samaritan, telling her she had left her car lights on.

"[She] turns her headlights off, walks back up to her apartment and closes the door," said Kevin Brownlee, with the Longview Police Department.

When the victim came back to her apartment, the good Samaritan knocked on her door, this time with another man.

"The second man produces a handgun," said Brownlee. "They force their way into her apartment, they steal her purse and run."

They were gone in the darkness.

"It does appear to be some kind of good Samaritan ruse to get her to open the door," said Brownlee.

It is not a new method. Police say suspects target areas like apartment sections, which are congested and make for an easy getaway. Police say they probably keep their victims under surveillance, waiting for the right time to pull the ruse.

"They might have been casing out the inside of her apartment complex to see what she had," said Brownlee. "Many times they'll say somebody's hit your car in the parking lot. You need to come and see. Sometimes they'll bump into somebody's car when they're driving to get them to stop...[It is] most likely that the suspects were in the parking lot watching. They were probably looking for someone to rob."

Police say if you are approached about and issue with your car after dark, by someone you don't know be careful.

"Anytime you're unsure of the situation or feel uncomfortable, call police, call a family member and have somebody accompany you out to your car," advised Brownlee.

The victim identified one of the suspects as a black male in his 20's wearing a black ball-cap with a gold sticker.

No one was injured.

Anyone with information about this robbery is asked to contact Gregg County Crime Stoppers at 903-236-STOP or online at A reward of up to $1000.00 may be paid for information that leads to the arrest of the suspect(s).

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.