AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) - Police in Central Texas are dubbing him the "I'm Sorry Robber" because of how he usually apologizes as he is holding up gas station clerks with a handgun.
But detectives say there's no reason to feel sympathy for a young man who points a deadly weapon at the store clerks he targets. There have been six so far in Northwest Austin and neighboring Cedar Park.
"He'll continue until he gets caught," said Detective Steven Boline with Austin Police.
The audio is faint on one surveillance recordings of a recent hold-up police shared with KXAN, but it's possible to hear the young armed robber say ‘I'm really sorry to do that.' He says it while pointing a black handgun at a store clerk at a gas station in the 13000 block of Research Blvd.
He is also heard saying, ‘Sorry guys, I'm having to do this,' without offering an explanation why. He then leaves the scene in a small sedan or coupe.
The young man is believed to be behind hold-ups on Nov. 13, 2012, and Jan. 23 and Feb. 6 of this year. The first two were along the 12000 block of FM 620, the third happened at a gas station on nearby Anderson Mill Road.
Just last week, there were three new robberies overnight July 3 and into July 4 within a 2.5 hour span. Again, he apologized to clerks before making off with undisclosed amounts of cash. He asked the clerks to put it in a dark-colored bank bag.
"I think he's becoming more comfortable," Boline said. "He's lessening his involvement I think when he says ‘I'm sorry', maybe making it not as bad as what it really is.
Police are concerned if the ‘I'm sorry' robber escalates his attacks, a clerk or witness might get hurt or the gun the robber holds might go off accidently.
"When you stick a gun in somebody's face, that's bad," Boline said.
And he's just a kid, police say. Probably known locally, not more than 21 or so and cocky enough not to change his thin disguise much. In the three latest robberies, the bandit merely switched out a cap for an odd-looking blue woolen hat with tassels and put on sunglasses.
"We want catch him before somebody does get hurt," Boline said, adding he believes someone knows the young man.
Anyone with information is asked to call APD's Robbery Unit or 512-472-TIPS.
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