PD: Scottsdale red light camera helps catch 'bank jugging' suspects

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - A red light traffic camera helped police locate a Texas couple who were engaged in 'bank jugging,' police say.

Scottsdale Police report that on June 28 they arrested 25-year-old Nathaniel Ray House Jr. and 23-year-old Qu Nesha Lache Ward for 'bank jugging.'

Police say "jugging" is when gang members stake out banks and ATMs to watch people leaving with bank bags or envelopes. The suspects follow the victim to other locations like a convenience or grocery store, where they burglarize the victim's vehicle while the victim is away from their car. 

Police report that they received 10 reports of vehicles being burglarized after making bank transactions. In one of the robberies, a witness described the suspects' car as a black BMW SUV.

On May 18, that vehicle was caught on a red light camera at McDowell and Scottsdale roads. The picture of the drivers was compared to surveillance video from a bank where House entered to locate a potential victim.

Police observed House and Ward going to multiple banks throughout the Valley. They also saw a new white Ford truck parked at their home next to the BMW. Police tracked this vehicle and observed other robberies as well.

Police say they have been tied to seven incidents and stole about $10,000.

Scottsdale police say the red light camera was very useful in identifying the suspect.

"The suspect was apparently surveilling, or following, the victim from the bank to the grocery store," said Scottsdale Police Sgt. Ben Hoster. "When you get stuck at a red light, you run the red light, and that's what this person did in this case."

Police say you can never be too careful.

"If you go to the bank and you're going to retrieve a large amount of money, don't count it in front of people,"
Hoster said. "Don't hold it up for other people to see. Try to be inconspicuous with your actions."

Both House and Ward were arrested on June 28 near 52nd Street and McDowell Road, and have been charged with multiple counts of burglary.

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