Armed And Dangerous Robbery Suspect Calls Police

Anxious to get the serial robbery suspect off the streets, Tyler police released this new picture of 44-year old John Dewayne Williams Thursday.

"Someone knows where he's at so hopefully they'll call us," said Officer Don Martin with the Tyler Police Department.

Tyler police said Williams called them Wednesday night after seeing his picture on the news, but refused to turn himself in.

"At this point in time it's really the lack of information, determining where he's at," said Martin.  "We've been close a few times."

Police said in one robbery, Williams showed the clerk a gun and demanded cash. The robberies span from July of last year up until last week. They include Dollar Stores and convenient stations. Williams is also wanted for violating parole on sex assault and aggravated robbery convictions in the 1980's.

"In our opinion he is very dangerous and we need to get him off the street," said Martin.

More than one witness said Williams has a teardrop tattoo, though it's not clear in the surveillance pictures.

"We believe it's on the left side of the face, just down below the eye. There's one to two there," said Martin.

Local tattoo artists said teardrop tattoos are usually home-made or done in prison and they're not uncommon.

"A city the size of Tyler that has a large parole, parolee population, you're liable to walk around in the mall and bump into 4 or 5 people that have them," said Derek Kastning, tattoo artist at Kelly's Tattoos.

They also usually represent some kind of violent act.

"They either mean that you've killed somebody and you put one on for every time that you've killed somebody from a rival gang," said Kastning.  "Some of them mean how many friends and brothers you've lost. In surveillance video they're not really all that clear but they're usually pretty easy to see with the naked eye."

Now that police know the identity of the so-called "teardrop robber," they're hoping someone will come forward.

"There's someone out there he's staying with or they know where he's at," said Martin.  "We're hoping that in the long run they'll call us, we'll get him off the street and that way no one will get hurt."

Crime stoppers is offering up to a $1,000 dollar reward to anyone with information leading to an arrest.

Courtney Lane, Reporting