HPD searching for two suspects who followed man 5 miles from bank and stole $10k

The Houston Police Department needs your help identifying and finding two jugging suspects accused of stealing $10,000. 

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Around 1:20 p.m. on February 13, Raed Karaja, 56, says he went to the Capital One bank on Blalock Rd. to withdraw $10,000.

"Friday, I go to put the cashier’s check in a bank," Karaja said. "Monday, I go back and take the money: $10,000. I go back to the car outside. The envelope is in my hand."

Karaja said he had recently sold his car and was planning on using that money to pay an outstanding property tax bill. On his way, he stopped at the 6400 block of Windswept Lane in Southwest Houston to get his windshield repaired.

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Surveillance video shows Karaja pulling up in his black vehicle and the suspects trailing behind him in a Silver Toyota Corolla. Authorities said the suspect followed him five miles from the bank.

"Somebody came in on the right side, in the door in the back; opened the door in the back and took the money. The other guy put the gun in my face," Karaja said. 

In a matter of seconds, Karaja said the two men stole his envelope with $10,000 inside; the equivalent of five months' work for this car repairman. 

Karaja said he attempted to stop the thieves but backed off when they pointed a gun at him for the second time. Karaja said he was grateful to be alive.

"Thank you, God again, thank you," Karaja said. "I'm alive. I'm lucky that I'm sitting down with my family."


Safety experts urge people to have situational awareness and remain vigilant, even during daytime hours. 

"A thief could be 20 to 30 to 50 feet away, and they can see somebody holding cash and what they do with it, where they’re putting it in their purse, where they’re putting it in their pocket," said Kevin Coffey, a safety expert. "You want to minimize the visual effect where the thief has to know where you’re putting this money and your valuables when you’re walking away from that."

HPD said both suspects were black men wearing dark clothing. One of the suspects is described as having a medium build and the second suspect is said to be wearing plastic-rimmed glasses.

If you know anything about this case or recognize these suspects, you are urged to contact Crimestoppers at 713-222-TIPS.