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Austin Police Hunting For Increasingly Violent Robbery Suspect

Updated: Friday, November 9 2012, 09:49 PM CST

A brazen suspect is wanted in a string of robberies. Now police need your help solving the crime.

He's suspected in four robberies at gunpoint across Southeast Austin, and police are worried that the violence is escalating with each crime.

“They get a little braver each time,” said Sgt. Jon Herring. “They get more comfortable committing the robbery and then they escalate in their violence.”

An uptick in violence in one serial robbery case has Sgt. Jon Herring with APD’s Robbery Unit looking for your help.

“The suspect went from committing robberies of businesses to then also actively using the weapon and hurting one of the employees,” said Sgt. Herring. “So he's definitely escalating his violence and that's why we're very concerned.”

In the suspect’s first two robberies, he showed the weapon to the store employee and demanded money, said police.

But surveillance video from the third robbery shows the suspect jumping behind the counter and shoving the gun in the employees face.

The fourth robbery becomes even more violent.  Shortly after the suspect entered the pawn shop, an employee was shot in the arm and then robbed, according to police.

And the violence isn’t just contained inside the business being robbed.  The suspect usually demands the store employee’s car keys, but if he can’t get them, he heads to the parking lot looking for a car to steal to get away.

“We want to do everything we can with the public's assistance to get this person off the street before he escalates further and potentially kills somebody,” said Sgt. Herring.

Police only have a partial view of the suspect's face, in most of the robberies he’s wearing a variety of masks, but police are hoping an $11,000 reward will get them the information they need to catch this criminal.

The pawn shop employee who was shot is now recovering and is expected to be OK.

If you have information that can help police call the Robbery Tip Line at 512-974-5092 or text "Tip 103" your message to CRIMES.

By Karen KileyAustin Police Hunting For Increasingly Violent Robbery Suspect

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