Austin serial robber's arrest doesn't end fears among his victims

Cristian Omar Caceras Avila confesses to string of Austin armed robberies. (Photo: Austin Police)

Austin police arrest a man wanted in a rapid-fire series of armed robberies. The man allegedly hit more than half a dozen Austin businesses in just 48 hours.

This suspect allegedly terrorized shop keepers and employees in eight businesses. And even after his arrest, some still worry they'll be hit again.

Monday afternoon police released this mug shot of Cristian Omar Caceras Avila, age 25. He's charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, a first degree felony.

Police affidavits state Caceras robbed eight businesses between Wednesday and Friday of last week, the last one a cell phone store.

Denise Martinez, works there. She remembers, "He pulls out a gun. He lifts up his shirt and says where's the money."

That's when Martinez and her coworker Javy Escalante learned their last customer of the day was actually there to rob them. Martinez says, “He just came closer and closer and that's when our instincts start to act up. We're like this is not a joke."

It was over in seconds and Escalante ran next door for help. He says, “Before I even made it to the other side the guy was outside and he banged the gun on the window like 'Hey I'm watching you.' And I froze because it was a gun and he could still shoot me."

And today even with Caceras off the street these first-time crime victims don't feel any safer. Martinez explains, "There's still nervous feelings that I get every now and then just because we know he's not the only one that can rob us. There's people out there with the same intentions." And Escalante adds, “It's really scary when it actually happens. It's like you don't know what to do and it's like your whole life is at risk all at once."

So how was Caceras caught? He was brought in on an outstanding warrant after a traffic stop. He matched the description plus he was wearing the same shirt he wore in six of the eight robberies.

At that point he saved everyone a lot of trouble and confessed to the crimes.