HPD: 2 gang members target Baytown bank customer, lead police on chase

HPD

Arthur Walton (L) and Ajalon Baker (R)

HOUSTON - Police said two gang members were arrested after following and robbing a bank customer and leading police on a chase Thursday.

Police said Arthur Walton and Ajalon “AJ” Baker are gang members from the east side of Houston, and they followed a customer from a Baytown-area bank to a nearby business.

The customer entered the business, and police said Walton acted as a lookout and getaway driver while Baker broke into the man’s vehicle and stole property.

A Baytown police officer saw the crime happening and attempted to capture Walton and Baker, according to authorities.

Police said Walton and Baker drove away from the scene in a red, four-door Fiat, prompting a chase. After about 3 miles, police said Walton lost control of the car and crashed in the 3700 block of Roberts Boulevard. Both men attempted to run on foot but were caught by a K-9 officer, police said.

HPD

Baker has a lengthy criminal history, including charges of attempted escape, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, possession of crack cocaine, robbery causing bodily injury, possession of cocaine and possession of PCP.

Walton and Baker were both charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, burglary of a motor vehicle and evading arrest on foot for their roles in Wednesday's crimes, according to police. Walton also faces the additional charge of evading arrest in a motor vehicle.

Due to Baker's criminal history, he is considered a habitual offender and is facing a possible sentence of life in prison, police said.

Police said Walton and Baker are believed to be responsible for similar crimes in the Houston area.

Anyone who recognizes the men or the vehicle from other incidents is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS or the Houston Police Department at 713-884-3131.

According to police, "Bank jugging refers to a bank customer being targeted for theft or robbery as they leave a bank with cash. Jugging suspects follow customers from a bank with the intent to steal the money that the customer has withdrawn. The predatory offense is a growing crime trend in Texas and an epidemic in the Houston area."

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