Search for Heights car thief continues after stolen Cadillac is recovered | Community

The Cadillac stolen from an auto repair shop in the Heights earlier this month has been recovered by police. But the search for the man responsible for sweeping the car in broad daylight — and running over the store’s technician — continues.

The Houston Police Department’s robbery division posted surveillance video to its Facebook page on Tuesday of a man suspected of being involved in the car theft. The footage was taken at a nearby convenience store on the morning of the aggravated robbery at Fixers Tire & Automotive, 147 E. 11th St. The man in the footage is bald, dark-skinned and has a tattoo on the back of his right leg. , just below the knee, and was wearing a light gray T-shirt, dark gray cargo shorts and black shoes at the time.

“I hope someone recognizes him and he gets caught,” said Crina Micu, whose 65-year-old husband, Tarfin, owns the auto shop and is recovering from multiple injuries sustained in the Jan. 14 robbery.

Three people were in the stolen candy apple red Cadillac when HPD officers tracked it down on the night of Jan. 21 and forced the driver to curve into a ditch at the intersection of Woodvine Drive and Jalna Street in the Spring Branch area, HPD spokesman John said. Cannon, who said officers believed the vehicle was linked to a series of robberies in the northwestern part of the city. However, Cannon said all three people were questioned and released at the scene.

“That pisses me off so much,” said Crina Micu. “Clearly someone knew what was going on in that car.”

Still, Micu and the owner of the 2012 Cadillac CTS, Fixers customer and First Ward resident Michael McKiernan, said police appear to have dealt with the car thief, whom Micu previously described as a young, fair-skinned black man who was clean. . haircut and well dressed. Micu said her husband identified the man on the surveillance footage as the one he had a conversation and subsequent altercation with during the robbery, leaving Tarfin Micu with a shattered left foot and ankle, as well as a broken right hip, broken rib and cracked vertebrae. .

“They think it’s a really good picture,” McKiernan said, referring to police. “They said they would make a concerted effort through local media and Crime Stoppers to get this man’s face out there.”

HPD spokesman Kese Smith said last week that police described the car thief as male only, due to conflicting descriptive information they had received from witnesses.

Cannon said this week that the stolen vehicle was suspected of being used in a series of robberies, prompting HPD officers to launch a surveillance operation on the car once it was located. After the three people got into the car and started driving it in the Spring Branch area, Cannon said, officers maneuvered it off the road and detained the people inside.

“They were detained, interrogated and released,” Cannon said. “That doesn’t mean we don’t go back and eventually talk to them (again). The case remains an ongoing investigation.”

McKiernan said Tuesday his Cadillac is on a lot seized by HPD and was “completely gutted,” and he expects his insurance company to declare it a total loss.

He called Tarfin Micu’s theft and associated attack a “depraved indifference to human life”, adding that he was initially in disbelief when approached by police.

The car is insured. It’ll be all right,” McKiernan said. “It is really this man and his family that I am concerned about. … Tarfin and Crina are such nice people.”

The Micus, who are Romanian immigrants, opened the auto repair shop in 1993 and have a 14-year-old daughter. According to Crina, Tarfin is the sole mechanic at Fixers and the family’s main breadwinner.

She said her husband underwent surgery on his left ankle and foot on Jan. 15, the day after the robbery, and left the hospital on Jan. 21, the same day the Cadillac — which Tarfin was trying to prevent from being stolen — was recovered. . . He was admitted to a rehabilitation center the next day, Crina said.

A GoFundMe account set up for the Micu family had raised more than $70,500 by Wednesday morning. Donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-tarfin-and-our-business-after-violent-crime.

“If you have already shared your support with a donation or a prayer, we are eternally grateful,” Crina wrote in a Jan. 20 update to the page. “We continue to look forward to thanking you all in the future.”

Community members are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers of Houston if they have any information related to the case. Information leading to the indictment or arrest of suspects of a crime may result in a cash payment of up to $5,000. Tipsters must contact Crime Stoppers directly to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash payment by calling 713-222-8477, submitting a tip online at www.crime-stoppers.org or through the Crime Stoppers mobile app.

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