HOUSTON – Police in Torrance, California, say five men from Houston have been accused of bank jugging.
Police said that five men watched another man leave a financial institution with $16,000 then followed him to a Taco Bell. While the man was eating inside, the group broke into his car and stole the money, police said.
Police said the next day they watched the group of men commit another robbery after a person left a Los Angeles bank.
Torrance police said they recovered the stolen money.
Who was arrested?
Why is this making waves in Houston?
The men's California bonds have the president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union asking, once again, for tougher bonds in Harris County.
Joe Gamaldi, president of the officers’ union, tweeted:
“Nice to see our career criminals take a break from victimizing Houstonians, traveled to CA to commit bank jugging while on bond in Houston for peanuts(2k,5k). Apparently California cares more about criminals showing up to court than HC b/c they gave a 2million bond for same crime!”
Nice to see our career criminals take a break from victimizing Houstonians, traveled to CA to commit bank jugging while on bond in Houston for peanuts(2k,5k).Apparently California cares more about criminals showing up to court than HC b/c they gave a 2million bond for same crime!— Joe Gamaldi (@JoeGamaldi) January 26, 2018
Gamaldi feels the bonds are too low for career criminals in Harris County. He pointed to this case in particular. It appears none of the bonds were higher than $1.5 million.
“At least California is taking it seriously. Maybe it's time we start taking it seriously here,” Gamaldi told KPRC.
Gamaldi talked specifically about two of the suspects.
Haywood is accused of a 2015 homicide in Harris county. Police said he shot and killed Then Huynh as he was carrying groceries to his car. Haywood’s bond for that case was set at $50,000. By paying 10 percent, or $5,000, Haywood was out on bond.
Haywood's bond in California was set at $115,000.
“He got a higher bond amount for committing burglary of a vehicle in California then for murder (in Harris County),” Gamaldi said.
Gamaldi also pointed out Dickerson's bond was set at a high amount. California court records show it’s set at $1.5 million for robbery in the bank jugging case. In Harris County, Dickerson stands accused of vehicle burglary. His bond in Harris County was set at $5,000. Court records show he made bond, which would have meant he paid $500.
Gamaldi argues that Harris County's career criminals need tougher bonds to stop serial crimes.
When we asked the district attorney’s office to comment, we were sent this response from Dane Schiller, the Harris County DA spokesperson:
“Judges set bonds.”
The DA's office filed a motion to hold Haywood without bail, citing the California bank jugging case.