HOUSTON — The Houston Police Department and Crime Stoppers are looking for three suspects in another "jugging" case.
Jugging is when suspects follow a person from a bank and then rob them of the money they just withdrew from their account. Police say that's what happened to a gas station owner in southwest Houston earlier this month.
The robbery happened around 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15.
The victim told police he owns a Chevron gas station on the southwest side of Houston and withdrew money from a bank to replenish the ATM inside his store.
That morning, the victim parked at his store, placed the money bag under his arm and as he was walking to the front door, the suspects pulled up behind him.
Surveillance footage shows two of the suspects getting out of the car, running to the man and knocking him to the ground.
The victim threw the money bag away from the suspects but one of them grabbed it before running back to the vehicle and taking off.
The two suspects and their driver sped off in a dark gray Kia Optima with paper tags.
Police said it's possible the suspects had been following the victim days before the robbery and had become familiar with his routine.
The suspects have been described as black men; one was around 5'7", about 150 lbs. wearing a green hoodie and black pants, the second one was around 5'10", about 190 lbs. wearing a gray hoodie and blue jeans.
No description was given for the driver involved.
Crime Stoppers may pay up to $5,000 for information leading to their arrests.
Tips can be reported by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submitted online at www.crime-stoppers.org. All tipsters remain anonymous.
The Houston Police Robbery Division provided situational awareness tips in order to help others avoid being a victim of a similar crime:
Things to be aware of when banking:
• Occupied vehicles backed into parking spaces with a clear view of the front door of the bank, ATM or commercial drive thru
• Vehicles arriving at the bank with no occupants entering the bank
• Vehicles changing periodically parking spaces
• Vehicles with multiple occupants
How can you protect yourself?:
• Always be aware of your surroundings
• Conceal money before leaving the bank. Never openly carry bank bags, envelopes or coin boxes
• Be aware of anyone following you from the bank
• If you suspect that you are being targeted, call 911 from your cell phone and keep the dispatcher informed of the location, the direction you are traveling, and drive toward a police station until marked police cars are able to locate you.
• Do not leave or try to hide your bank bag or bank envelope in your vehicle when you exit at your next destination, even if it’s your residence.