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Man charged with robbing at least two women at St. Mary Hospital
PORT ARTHUR - by Ashley Gaston - Investigators say a man used a knife when he robbed two women inside Christus Hospital Saint Mary in Port Arthur.
Police say 27 year old Willie James Smith confessed to the robberies Tuesday morning.
There was a key piece of evidence that helped officers find Smith less than 24 hours after the robberies.
Robin Franklin says she enjoys serving customers at subway in Port Arthur.
But the first person who walked into the restaurant Monday morning put her on edge.
He made me real uncomfortable, said Robin Franklin.
This is surveillance video taken Monday morning at about 7-30 am.
Police say the man who walked inside the restaurant was 27 year old Willie James Smith.
He kept looking at the register and then he asked if we had an ATM, said Franklin.
Franklin said no and the man left.
Smith told detectives he wanted to rob the subway but didn't. That's when he walked across the parking lot into Christus Hospital Saint Mary and robbed two women inside the hospital.
One woman works at the hospital.
He said I will kill you if you scream, said Major Raymond Clark.
A second victim was inside the women's restroom when she gave the man her purse.
In one case a lady's husband was having surgery. You'd think that's the last place you'd get robbed, said Major Clark.
Clark said it was Detective Patrick Britton's hard work that linked the man in the Subway surveillance video to the robberies.
It gave us an idea of what the guy looked like, said Major Clark.
It was the distinctive tattoo, a do-rag and a black hoodie that helped a patrol officer notice Smith 24 hours after he walked into subway.
If you have a bad intuition when someone's walking in, stay away from the register, said Franklin.
Caution and awareness that prevented Franklin from becoming a victim and helped police find the robber.
Smith was released from jail last Friday in Waco after serving nearly two years for robbery there.
PORT ARTHUR - KFDM News has learned Port Arthur police arrested a man accused of robbing at least two people at Christus Hospital St. Mary.
Willie James Smith, 27, of Port Arthur, is in jail, charged with two counts of aggravated robbery.
Investigators say video from a Subway sandwich shop across from the hospital shows a clear image of Smith before he went inside the hospital Monday morning and robbed at least two people. Police say he was armed with a knife and threatened a woman in a restroom and took her purse. They also say he took personal belongings from a female employee at the hospital.
Witnesses provided information about the attacker and investigators arrested Smith at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday while he was walking along Memorial Boulevard.
Police say Smith confessed to the robberies.