A man in Katy, Tx., used his concealed handgun earlier this week to fight off two would-be robbers who were trying to steal his wife’s purse, according to local media.
The couple had visited a grocery store and a bank in the Houston suburb when a black Cadillac pulled in front of their car as they attempted to load groceries. The men brandished at least one firearm and demanded the wife’s purse. That’s when the husband, who had been standing on the other side of the car, pulled out his own handgun and opened fire.
Shots were exchanged, and the husband hit both robbers during the course of the gunfight. In the local TV coverage, three shots can be seen in the rear windshield of the suspects’ car, directly behind the driver. Neither the husband nor the wife sustained injuries.
The suspects crashed their car a short time later, and one of the men ran to a fire station for help, where he collapsed and was airlifted to a local hospital. But Harris County Sheriff’s deputies returned him to the scene of the crime a few hours later with a bandage on his right shoulder.
Local media reports that the other man, and possibly a third accomplice, are still at large.
Harris County authorities believe the men were “juggers,” thieves who wait until a person has left a bank before robbing them of the cash they have just withdrawn. In this case, the couple had not withdrawn any money, but the men had been targeting them, going so far as to slash their tires to prevent pursuit.
In a 2014 PSA, the Houston Police Department (HPD) warns residents to be on the lookout for juggers. The criminals, according to HPD, tend to target individuals who, like the couple in this story, visit another business after leaving a bank.
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“Suspects will typically follow a customer’s vehicle from the bank, with the intent to either break into the vehicle or rob the customer,” the PSA reads. “A jugger can break into your vehicle and steal your money in as little as five seconds.”
Juggers usually surveil a bank before attempting a robbery, often parking in the back row of the lot with a clear view of the doors. They look for customers with bank bags or bank envelopes.
Houston Police released surveillance footage of a jugging incident from 2015 in which the suspects appear to use a similar strategy to those in this week’s shooting.
HPD recommends four actions customers can take to avoid becoming a jugging victim:
- Be alert and attentive to your surroundings
- Look for suspicious vehicles near the ATM or in front of the bank
- Never make a bank bag, envelope or carrying case visible
- Once you leave the bank, make a mental note of any vehicles that may be following you