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Houston Officer Ends String of Grocery Store Holdups


A Houston police officer's quick action on his way home from work is being credited with ending a string of violent grocery robberies in southeast Houston.

Police had publicized security camera images last week showing a gun-toting robber terrorizing workers at southeast Houston meat markets and grocery stores, and HPD Eastside Patrol Officer Al Yanez spotted a man and vehicle matching the description as he headed home.

He called for backup and when marked patrol cars arrived, 22-year-old Jimmy Leonel Urquia was arrested.

So far, Urquia has been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. Robbery Squad investigators said they may clear as many as 10 of the recent holdups with his arrest.

His booking mug shot is not being released since police said they were still showing his photo in a lineup for other victims.

Urquia's bail is set at $80,000 on each count in the 178th Harris County District Court.

Officers involved with the arrest said that Urquia was in the United States illegally, having been deported from the country after violent crimes in the past. One officer said he returned and quickly started committing new crimes.

Urquia was known on the streets, and by some of the robbery victims, by a nickname that calls out his dark complexion.


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