‘Gun Jugging’ on the Rise in Houston

Authorities in Houston are concerned about the rise in gun jugging, local media reports.

Not familiar with the term “jugging”?  

It’s basically a stalk and steal approach criminals use to take cash from bank customers who’ve recently withdrawn money from an ATM.

They watch, wait, and then strike when the victim least suspects it or is most vulnerable.

Gun jugging is the same thing except criminals target guns instead of cash.  Ranges are a popular hangout for gun juggers because shooters are coming and going all the time, and sometimes they don’t take all their firearms out of their vehicles at once.  

Any firearms left behind are easy pickings.  

Sgt. Tracy Hicks with Houston PD told KHOU11 that car break-ins where guns were stolen are up over 100 this year compared to the same time last year (Jan-April), totaling 754 incidents versus 646 in 2019.

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“These guys are targeting those people,” said Sgt. Tracy Hicks. “They’re also learning, why not go for more than one gun?”

Police busted two alleged gun juggers on May 12, 19-year-old Michael Parker and 19-year-old Victor Gwinn, who were wanted for questioning concerning a previous case involving stolen guns. 

In their most recent heist, Parker and Gwinn followed a gun owner from a gun range to a restaurant.  When the gun owner went inside to get something to eat, the teens broke inside the vehicle and stole a firearm.   

Believed to be members of a local gang, the two were charged with “engaging in organized crime.”

Sgt. Hicks said that gun owners can help stop gun juggers if they properly secured their firearms in locked containers or safes when the guns remain inside an unoccupied vehicle. 

“That’s something you have to live with, that your complacency was a factor in that [theft],” Hicks said, adding that “One less gun on the street is one less victim out there.” 

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 42 comments… add one }
  • Dustin Eward May 22, 2020, 9:29 pm

    …if our complacency is to blame, then why don’t we blame women when they get raped?

  • larry May 22, 2020, 4:42 pm

    Whenever I go to the range I go directly home afterward and put my guns away exactly for the reason in this article. If you go to a restaurant, your vehicle should be within visual contact at all times.

  • Bob May 22, 2020, 2:05 pm

    that’s one reason there’s no Glock, Sig, Magpul etc. decals on my truck. Just advertises what you may have inside.

  • Mike in a Truck May 22, 2020, 11:36 am

    Unfortunately it’s come to this. I dont leave a range with multiple firearms then leave my vehicle unattended while I eat/ shop. I’ll use the drive through,park and be aware of any walk ups. Shame we’re at this point. What alternative? The buddy system is an option. One stays in the vehicle while the other goes inside. Also, criminals willing to follow you for guns are also willing to follow you home. Watch who’s watching you.

    • Eric May 22, 2020, 6:28 pm

      It is sad, but how else are criminals supposed to get their guns. The closure of “Fast and Furious” left a serious vacuum in the illegal gun market.

  • Rangemaster11B May 22, 2020, 11:28 am

    You should also keep some ammo for when you are leaving the range, in case they try a more direct approach.

  • andy May 22, 2020, 11:09 am

    If you have to have a gun every minute of the day you need to move some where else.

    • RichZ May 22, 2020, 4:48 pm

      Sure, andy, but the big question is _which_ minute are you going need the gun?

      Maybe you’re a mind-reader or fortune teller, but the rest of us aren’t, so we carry 24/7 “just in case” because if you need it, your assailant isn’t going to give you a time-out to go home and get it.

      A gun is like a parachute – if you don’t have it the first time you need it, you’ll probably never need it again.

      Your statement reminds me of the anecdote about the lady noticing a Texas Ranger’s handgun at a social event. “Are you expecting trouble?” “No, ma’am. If I was expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle.”

    • Scotty Gunn May 22, 2020, 5:07 pm

      You’ll be living in the desert all by your self, then.

    • Bob Billingsly May 22, 2020, 6:13 pm

      And where, exactly, would that be? And, do you watch the news at all?

    • Chum Lee May 22, 2020, 10:18 pm

      After you move, how do you decide which minutes of the day you don’t have to have a gun?

  • Corvette_guy May 22, 2020, 10:56 am

    What total BS!

    I am downright paranoid about leaving firearms in my vehicles. However… following this police officers logic. Women are responsible for rapes… just asking for it walking around like that… looking like a victim, and anyone that doesn’t drive a rusty 78 AMC Pacer is responsible for auto thefts.
    How about we arrest the criminals for gun thefts and it’s 10 years first offense and 25 for a second offense. Get caught committing a gun crime and your life is Over. If I had a $1 for every asshole I see on Live PD they catch with a stolen firearm and a bag of dope… and you just know they will be out on bond by Monday.

    • Rand May 22, 2020, 3:49 pm

      I am for zero tolerance gun crime laws with mandatory no plea down sentencing.

  • dsurgi May 22, 2020, 10:36 am

    with the cases securefirearmproducts.com sell this crime won’t happen

  • Higerview May 22, 2020, 10:01 am

    Sgt. Tracy Hicks must be a liberal gun banner. To make the statement “One less gun on the street is one less victim out there.” indicates this. If you have locked your weapons in your vehicle, you have secured them. If you lock them in the locked vehicle in a locked gun case they can still be stolen by anyone willing to break into the vehicle. Sgt. Hick’s view is illogical and once again shifts the blame from the criminal to the citizen in typical liberal blame shift.

    • Nathan De Lon May 22, 2020, 12:30 pm

      EXACTLY what I was going to say.

    • Stan d. Upnow May 22, 2020, 12:32 pm

      You’re either misinterpreting his comment, or deliberately spinning it. His message was that one less Stolen gun on the streets means one less victim.
      People can be very careless about securing their firearms. Never leave guns in your vehicle unattended!
      Police officer told me, what thieves are after breaking into vehicles: cash/credit cards, cell phones/computers, and Guns.

    • Paul L Cotton May 23, 2020, 7:06 am

      Totally agree with you, I think LEO’s need to concentrate on getting the criminal element off the street and protect the law abiding citizens practicing their Constitutional right to practice and hone their use of firearms ,we take great care and expenses in protecting our weapons , the LEO’s need to concentrate on the bad guy and protect the law abiding citizens!
      I know it will be harder to get them than us, but isn’t that what they are paid for ?

  • Jrhd6670 May 22, 2020, 9:48 am

    I agree with Mr. Doyle!

  • Gary May 22, 2020, 9:48 am

    This is STUPID! Some jerk BREAKS INTO a vehicles LOCKED trunk…and it’s OUR fault it happened??
    You sound like they are CHILDREN breaking into them!! 19 is NOT a child!! If they are old enough to vote, and fight in a war..they are NOT children!!
    Want to pass some NEW gun laws? How about if they pull a GUN THEFT from a locked car..they get about 10 years?? Every where, that is about five years with good behavior..so they should be in for the full ten!!
    Why is it that EVERY law that gets broken is the FAULT of the victim? I’m sick of it..and this idiot cop too!!
    Lock box for your gun? Go to YouTube pin head and look up the lock pick lawyer + gun lock boxes! Most of them he don’t even have to pick open!! He can open it just by dropping it on a corner!! If need be, he can use a pop top to open the damn things!! Yes, I use them..because I USED to think they were better than nothing…I was WRONG!!
    And lastly cop..a MASTER LOCK?? You don’t even have to pick it..which takes less than a minute!! You can just shim that junk open in LESS time than it takes to open it with A KEY!!
    More pathetic advice from a “safety expert”!!
    WHO is to blame for dim wits breaking into cars?? COPS to lazy to do their damn jobs!! After all..they are ONLY children..right?? Jerk!

  • Sarge May 22, 2020, 9:34 am

    They call it Holier Than Thou Syndrome, and yet… “records from more than 100 law enforcement agencies … found that they had collectively reported the loss or theft of at least 1,781 guns between 2008 and 2017. The vast majority were department-issued handguns, but the count also included hundreds of rifles and shotguns, as well as four fully automatic submachine guns.”

  • Damon May 22, 2020, 9:33 am

    In Maryland the police often blame you for ‘negligently allowing your gun to be stolen’. I’ve seen them berate victims for this with harmful language like, “Now this gun is going to be used to kill somebody, or maybe even a cop. Maybe even me!” They would often take other firearms from your home/car as well if they had questions about them.
    I have escaped Maryland, but I know this is common throughout leftist cities and states.
    The government and its representatives should NEVER fault the victim’s for having their property stolen. Officially, it is solely on the criminal who took it.
    As a former cop I will tell you that you should put forth your best effort to secure your guns, but you should remind the cop that you are the victim and never allow them to take your firearms without putting up a stink, calling your lawyer, threatening a lawsuit, or even using your constitutional right to resist via other means.

  • Zupglick May 22, 2020, 9:21 am

    Typical Liberal viewpoint.
    It’s always the victims fault.

  • robert May 22, 2020, 8:22 am

    Wait, he said “Sgt. Hicks said that gun owners can help stop gun juggers if they properly secured their firearms in locked containers or safes when the guns remain inside an unoccupied vehicle.” Uhhh how will that prevent the criminals from grabbing the container and leaving? A locked container doesn’t prevent theft. This is why when I travel with firearms I will never sit in an area that I can’t have overwatch of my car. If I can’t watch my car while I’m eating I go home first and drop the guns off. Not worth it to me.

  • Joe May 22, 2020, 8:18 am

    If you carry a gun in a vehicle and don’t secure it, you have basically bought the gun for someone else.

    A pistol lock box is cheap.

    Buy a cable for long guns and run through the trigger guard or magwell of a long gun, wrap around the seat frame or trunk lid arm and lock it with a master lock.

    Sure, a determined thief with a little time can get it but it will slow them down, and it will prevent a snatch and grabber looking for easy pickins. I don’t leave unsecured cash or guns in my vehicles.

    • Robert May 22, 2020, 11:54 am


      If I buy something that someone might want, I’m already at fault for for allowing their jealousy to overcome common sense, morality & the law of the land.
      Shame on me.

    • chumly May 22, 2020, 10:25 pm

      I wanna be just like Joe when I grow up– the coolest guy with a Master lock I know.

  • Wayne Doyle May 22, 2020, 8:17 am

    Excuse me! So it’s our fault and complacency when criminals break into our vehicles? How about we just start shooting them and cut out
    the courts and police as middle men. I’ll bet that nonsense stops very quickly.

    • B rad May 22, 2020, 9:24 am

      Right on! Too many criminals walking around these days

    • SuperG May 22, 2020, 9:43 am

      I’m all for executing the habitual criminal that has been deemed non-redeemable by the courts, but we still need to abide by the Constitution. But neither of our ideas will be entertained for at least another 20 years, after the majority of innocents have been brutalized by the criminals.

      • andy May 22, 2020, 11:15 am

        Soon you will have nothing but liberal judges and politicians, have to make adjustments its coming

        • chumley ortega May 22, 2020, 10:28 pm

          Will that be before or after the climate changes?

  • Roger May 22, 2020, 8:10 am

    I thought it was women hiding guns between their ‘jugs”.

  • Loki May 22, 2020, 8:04 am

    Maybe if more places would let us take our guns in they wouldn’t be outside in the car. I CANNOT stand having a gun in my car.

  • Brad May 22, 2020, 7:41 am

    I misread it as “gun jogging.” Like citizens going for a brisk run in the morning with their carry gun in a fanny pack or something.

  • Dr. Strangelove May 22, 2020, 6:05 am

    Great idea! Where can I get a vehicle safe big enough to fit my range bag and a rifle or two in?

  • Mike V May 21, 2020, 4:13 pm

    I thought criminals got their guns via the gun show loophole?

    • BILL May 22, 2020, 7:30 am

      OK, I get that a vehicle safe would be an idea, but notice the cop they speak with puts the fault for the theft solely at the feet of the victim, not the thief. Typical.

      • Scott May 22, 2020, 9:15 am

        Right? Victim blaming is a total fallacy and very dangerous and stupid. I wonder if the quoted policeman ever tells any criminals a similar platitude, “That’s something you have to live with, that your behavior was a factor in that innocent persons misfortune/injury/death”. God bless LEO’s but if truly spoken in that fashion the officer could have certainly said it better.

      • Nathan May 22, 2020, 10:10 am

        TruckVault, Monster Vault, BOSS…there’s a lot.

  • Justin Opinion May 21, 2020, 4:08 pm

    Am I the only one who thought it said, “Gun Juggling”? I was seriously expecting to read about some new fad where people were doing carnival tricks with three or more guns at a time. Not that it hasn’t given me ideas….. 😉

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