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It’s basically a stalk and steal approach criminals use to take cash from bank customers who’ve recently withdrawn money from an ATM.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