EL PASO, Texas - Police arrested two Houston men, allegedly catching them in the act of "jugging," a crime trend in which thieves specifically target persons that appear to have made a bank or ATM withdrawal.
Anthony Hackett, 23, and 29-year-old Napoleon Harris were both charged with "burglary of a vehicle" and "theft over $2,500, under $30,000," police said.
Criminals involved in jugging conduct surveillance at banks or ATM's and then follow unsuspecting victim to another location where they rob the victims or break into the victim's car, police said.
On March 8, 2017, police officers responded to reports of a vehicle burglary at an Eastside bank where the victim reported he had just previously been at another bank.
The following day, police set up a surveillance operation that resulted in two suspects being followed to a Westside bank.
At that bank, police officers followed a would-be victim as he drove to a home improvement store on Redd Road. After the victim entered the store, the two suspects allegedly broke into the victim's car and stole money left inside the car.
The officers conducting surveillance arrested the two offenders and recovered the money. The victim told the officers he was in town for a close relative's funeral and the recovered stolen money had been withdrawn to help pay for funeral expenses.
People we spoke with had never heard of "jugging."
"Honestly, I normally don't pay attention to my surroundings. I just pull out the cash and go," Kyle Robinson said.
West El Paso resident Karla Yeung was also surprised by the growing crime trend.
"I never thought of people following me all the way to wherever I am going," Yeung said.
Hackett and Harris were both booked into the El Paso County Detention Facility on bonds totaling $17,500.
People are being asked to be aware of their surroundings. Police advise checking to see if anyone follows you leaving a bank. If you suspect you are being followed, call 911.