Deputies: Gang members prey on man leaving Woodlands bank

THE WOODLANDS, Texas (KTRK) -- If you need to run to the bank before Christmas, you might want to make sure you aren't being tailed by thieves. A man in The Woodlands learned this the hard way.

Investigators said Bernard Joseph and Fernando Riascos were preying on the victim Thursday, keeping careful watch of the man as he drove from the bank to the post office on Gosling Road.

When the man went inside the post office, they allegedly broke into the victim's vehicle and took his belongings.

Deputies said they tracked down the suspects after an investigation and found evidence linking them to the burglary.

Joseph and Riascos are now charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and are being held in the Montgomery County Jail.

The criminal practice known as bank jugging is nothing new, and people can be particularly susceptible to becoming a victim during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said thieves are looking for people they believe are in possession of cash, and won't stop at just burglarizing vehicles but may rob victims directly.

Here are three things you can do to keep yourself safe:

  1. TAKE YOUR MONEY WITH YOU: If you need to make another stop after the bank, do not leave cash envelopes or bank bags inside your vehicle.
  2. CONCEAL YOUR CASH: Make sure to hide your money, envelopes or bank bags inside purses, wallets or other containers.
  3. WATCH YOUR SURROUNDINGS: Pay attention to vehicles that are turning when you turn, or stopping when you stop. Call 911 if you believe you are in danger or drive to your nearest police or law enforcement station.
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