2 gang members arrested for 'bank jugging,' HPD says

Darius Russell, Brandon Shelley taken into custody

The mugshots of Darius Russell (L) and Brandon Shelley (R).
The mugshots of Darius Russell (L) and Brandon Shelley (R). (KPRC2)

HOUSTON – Two gang members were arrested on Wednesday after attempting to rob a bank customer after a withdrawal, according to the Houston Police Department.

Targeting a bank customer for a theft or robbery after leaving a bank with cash is referred to as “bank jugging.”

The two men, Darius Russell and Brandon Shelley, followed a customer from a bank near the area of West Road and I-45 to another location in North Harris County, according to authorities.

Russell acted as a lookout and getaway driver, while Shelley broke a window on the bank customer’s vehicle before the men stole money from the vehicle and attempted to flee the scene.

Officers with the Houston Police Department were nearby and able to quickly apprehend the two men.

At the time of the arrest, Shelley was found to have an open warrant from a recent “burglary of a motor vehicle” charge, authorities said.

On Sept. 8, Shelley and another man were caught burglarizing vehicles on the east side of Houston, police said. 

Shelley was charged with burglary and able to post a $4,000 bond, according to authorities.

Shelley is on parole until 2020 from a 2015 conviction for engaging in organized criminal activity and a 2017 conviction for burglary of a habitation, police said. 

Shelley’s parole was not violated with the new law violation and he skipped bail on the September burglary case, according to authorities.

Shelley has an extensive criminal history to include multiple charges of theft, burglary of a habitation, criminal trespass, evading arrest, engaging in organized criminal activity and possession of a controlled substance, police said.

Both suspects are charged with burglary of a motor vehicle and a third degree felony, engaging in organized criminal activity, authorities said. 

Because of his career criminal habitual offender status, police said Shelley is faces 25 years to life in prison for this offense.

Both suspects are believed to be responsible for dozens of similar offenses throughout the Houston area and are suspects in numerous pending felony investigations, police said. 

The Houston Police Department and numerous agencies throughout the state of Texas are actively pursuing any information relating to bank jugging suspects.

If anyone recognizes these men or their vehicle from prior offenses, please contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS or the Houston Police Department at 713-884-3131.