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Thief steals $40K worth of gold after man leaves bank in NW Houston, police say

HOUSTON – Houston police are looking for a thief they say he stole tens of thousands of dollars in gold jewelry moments after a man left a Bank of America.

“It’s all Indian jewelry,” said Joseph, the victim. He did not want his full name to be used because he said investigators told him bank juggers are usually violent gang members.

"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 Jugging suspects follow customers from a bank with the intent to steal the money that the customer has withdrawn. This predatory offense is a growing crime trend in Texas and an epidemic in the Houston area," Houston police said.

The jewelry had been accumulated over a lifetime, Joseph said: at weddings, birthdays and other special occasions. He estimated it was worth around $40,000.

“As an Indian family,” Joseph said, “It is (more) sentimental ... It just gave me a heart attack.”

He kept the jewelry in a safe deposit box at the bank, he said. Minutes after he withdrew it, he parked at a Kroger by the door and put the bag of gold in the glove box.

“I was inside the Kroger two minutes, maybe three,” he said.

He bought flowers for his family in preparation for a religious celebration at his home.

His heart sank when he saw the broken glass, he said. Then he saw a man nearby rushing to get into an SUV, and he followed him.

“I kept chasing the guy,” he said. “But he kept zigzagging, you know, (and) he got away.”