Police have released a surveillance video of a suspect in a robbery earlier this year at a meat market in southwest Houston where he was a regular customer.

The robbery happened about 2:30 p.m. Jan. 2, at La Hacienda meat market at 9652 Beechnut, according to the Houston Police Department

The man walked in and lingered in the store looking at the merchandise as if he were searching for what he wanted to buy, said Lt. Ernest Garcia of the HPD Robbery Division. Really, Garcia said, he appears to have been waiting for customers to leave.

When most of the patrons had gone out, the man went to the front counter, pulled a pistol from his waistband and ordered the clerk to give him money from the cash register.

The man left with an undisclosed amount of cash. He got into the passenger side of a brown minivan and sped away. The van appears to have been driven by an accomplice, Garcia said.

Garcia said the clerk recognized the man as a person who had been in the store more than once, though the employee did not know the man by name. He may live in the area since he had frequented the store, Garcia said.

The store's surveillance camera recorded the man's image. He is described as being 25 to 35 years old, 5-foot-2 to 5-foot-5, and weighing about 160 pounds. He had black hair. He wore a red T-shirt, a black baseball cap and a blue jean jacket.

Garcia said investigators also are seeking a person of interest in the case. The man was at the counter to make a purchase when the suspect was in the store before the robbery. The man appeared to delay his purchase, twice looking backward toward the direction of the suspect.

No description of the man was available. However, police said, he appears in the store's surveillance video at the 00:00 to 00:10 mark.

Anyone with information about the case or the identities of the wanted suspect and the person of interest is urged to contact the HPD Robbery Division at 713-308-0700 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.