- Monday October 8th, 2012 :: 11:47 a.m. CDT
10-5-12: Female victim robbed on parking lot at 3700 E. IH-40, suspect arrested near Amarillo Blvd./Seminole.
On 10-5-12, at 8:35 PM, officers were sent to the Wal-Mart at 3700 E. IH-40 on a robbery on the parking lot. The victim, a 53 year old female, saw a Hispanic male walking around on the lot. He told her that he was looking for a family member in a car on the lot. She placed items she had purchased into her car, got in, and locked the door. The Hispanic male approached her car door quickly and showed her a cell phone and asked if she had lost it. She told the man that she had not. She opened the door to ask the man if she could help him locate the owner of the phone. The man lunged into the open door, and put his arm across her throat, knocking off her glasses and injuring her lip in the process. He then told her that she had three seconds to “give him everything.” The suspect also struck her in the face with his fist. The man grabbed her purse, which was on the passenger seat of the vehicle. The victim and suspect were wrestling for control of the purse when the victim began honking her car horn to get help. The suspect was able to pull the purse away from her and fled on foot. A male that saw the incident pursued the suspect across the lot. He saw the suspect get into the passenger side of a Dodge pickup that then drove off of the lot and north on S. Grand. The witness was able get the first three numbers of the license plate. Another witness that had also seen the man fleeing provided the last numbers of the license plate to him, and he called 911.
Officers heard the call and suspect vehicle description broadcast on the radio. Within minutes, two patrol units had spotted the truck northbound on N. Grand near Amarillo Boulevard. Officers stopped the vehicle at Amarillo Blvd. and Seminole. The passenger got out and fled east on foot, carrying the purse in his hand. Officers pursued the man in their vehicle until he reached railroad tracks at the Boulevard. The man fell near the tracks, and did not have the purse in his hand when he got back up and started running again. Officers then pursued the man on foot. The suspect tried to run across Amarillo Blvd., but fell. He then turned on the officers to resist. An officer deployed a TASER and the man was taken into custody without injury. The officers recovered the purse. Other officers had detained the driver of the pickup. Witnesses identified the man that ran as the one that robbed the woman. The suspect, Steve Martinez, HM age 31 of El Paso was booked into the Potter Co. Jail on charges of robbery, evading arrest, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The driver was booked on unrelated traffic warrants and is not charged with this robbery. The victim sustained a minor injury to her mouth and did not require treatment. All property taken was recovered.
Amarillo Police Department
200 Southeast 3rd Avenue
Amarillo, TX 79101
Sgt. Brent Barbee
Crime Prevention Unit