'Hole-in-the-wall' bandits busting into East Side businesses again, police say

Knife-wielding robber slashed worker's arm, hit her in face

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio police are trying to determine if an unusual robbery on the East Side is connected to a similar crime last week.

In the latest case, investigators said someone cut a hole in the wall leading from a vacant storefront into Ace Cash Express, in the 900 block of S. W.W. White Road.

A worker who arrived around 8 a.m. Tuesday was surprised by a man who came through the hole into the business.

Police said she put up a fight and pepper-sprayed him.

The man hit her in the face and slashed her arm with a knife before running away with her purse, officers said.

The woman ran to a nearby VIA bus and got help.

She was treated at the scene and did not appear to suffer any serious injuries.

"I pray that she’ll be OK," Peggy Henry said, a regular customer, who had arrived with plans to visit the quick cash business.

Instead, she found the store temporarily closed with police officers surrounding it.

"I never would've thought they would've gone through a wall like that,” Henry said. “But, my God! Anything can happen."

While Henry was surprised, investigators were not.

Just last Friday, they found a similar scene just down the street, also on W.W. White Road.

Someone removed a glass window pane on the front of Medico, a medical and dental office.

Police said the burglar broke into three empty safes there, then cut a hole through the wall into a clothing and shoe store.

The burglar got away with a few pair of sneakers from the business next door.

Both of those break-ins happened in the middle of the night when the businesses were closed.

Detectives at the scene said they plan to compare notes to see if the crimes are all connected.

After the robbery Tuesday, officers searched the area by helicopter but did not make any arrests.

Officers said the victim told them she saw three men at the scene of this latest crime, one who robbed her as well as two others who never climbed through the hole in the wall.

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