HOUSTON – Deputies with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office and members of the Houston Police Department's Northeast Tactical Unit arrested three suspects Tuesday afternoon. They are accused of "jugging."
Jugging is a crime common in the Houston area, in which suspects target and follow unsuspecting customers as they leave the bank. Then, they either rob them or break into their vehicles and steal their money.
On Tuesday afternoon, the crime happened at the Bank of America located at 9245 South Texas 6, near the Fort Bend County and Harris County line. That's why both agencies were working the case.
The three suspects followed a customer who left the bank and then they broke into the person's car while it was parked at a nearby business.
Kenneth Harris, Lawrence Harris and Roosevelt Valentine have all three been charged with engaging in organized activity and burglary of a motor vehicle, according to police.
Kenneth is also charged with evading in a motor vehicle, police said.
Valentine also faces an evading arrest on foot charge, authorities said.
Police in the area spotted the suspects breaking into the car, pulled up and arrested all three men.
Law enforcement sources say jugging is an epidemic in parts of Houston, and now investigators are starting to see the criminals creep into Fort Bend County and other surrounding suburbs.
"We've seen a rise in Fort Bend County juggings," said Sgt. Tim Chesser, with the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office. "They're going to get charged here in Fort Bend County and face a court system here in Fort Bend County. Hopefully, they'll get a well-deserved sentence and we can put a stop to this."
Officers want customers to be warned and suggest doing banking online or being extra alert when going inside to withdraw money.
The men arrested on Tuesday were not armed but they were found to be in possession of burglary tools.
The three men are documented gang members, authorities said.
Kenneth and Roosevelt are currently on bond for numerous felonies, according to authorities.
The men are suspects in potentially hundreds of vehicle burglaries, police said. These men are known to target gyms and other commercial parking lots. They are suspected in stealing cash, electronics, jewelry, firearms and other personal property, according to police.