Authorities Search For Robbers In East Texas Crime Spree - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/21/04-East Texas

Authorities Search For Robbers In East Texas Crime Spree

Authorities are calling them serial robbers. Two men have robbed, at gunpoint, at least six East Texas businesses and their customers over the last month.

No one has been hurt, but the men have gotten away with a lot of cash. Authorities say at least eight robberies have taken place at those six locations stretching from Kaufman County, to Van Zandt County and up into Hunt County.

The most recent robbery happened Monday at the Safari Tea Room off Interstate 20 and Highway 47. The robber approached the business, found the door locked and threw a brick through the door leaving glass scattered all over the ground.

Once inside, witnesses said the suspect pulled out a gun, pointed it at an employee and ordered everyone into a back room.

Cindy McClanahan manages the Safari Tea Room. They've lost more than $3,000 this month in two separate robberies. She said everyone is scared.

"He screams at people, he doesn't talk in a regular voice, it's a yell and as he talks to people he is steadily gouging the gun in their face," she said "It's terrifying, somebody is going to get hurt or killed."

With the robbers still on the loose, she's worried it could happen again.

"I mean every time a car comes in the parking lot you jump up because you're afraid they're coming back, and the last thing he said before he left here was 'I will be back'."

With dozens of leads, authorities are hoping that doesn't happen. The culprits have gotten away with anywhere from $200 to $6,000.

Authorities in Van Zandt County have put out a description of the suspects. One of them is a white male, 5'10 to 6'. He's about 25 to 30 years old with short, dark blonde hair. The other is a black male, 6' tall, medium build and around the same age.

If you have any information, call Van Zandt County Crime Stoppers at 903-567-STOP.

That's 567-7867.

Chris Gibson, reporting
cgibson@kltv.com

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