PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A video shows deputies chase down four suspects accused of robbing a woman in Pinellas County on Saturday.
The woman called 911 and said she was robbed at gunpoint at her home shortly after getting money out from a nearby ATM. The crime is called “bank jugging,” and it’s on the rise in other parts of Florida.
Investigators say a witness watched the black Chevy Traverse leave the scene of the crime before deputies got there.
Later that night, deputies said they saw the vehicle traveling westbound on 54th Avenue North from 49th Street, and tried to pull it over. The driver did not stop, so a deputy “initiated a pursuit and conducted a PIT maneuver where his cruiser was disabled,” according to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jamie Miller.
Then the driver tried to flee again.
Deputies rammed into the SUV for a second time, and the four suspects got out of the vehicle and began to run.
“Canines were deployed and after a lengthy track, all four suspects were taken into custody at a nearby apartment complex,” Deputy Miller said.
News Channel 8 caught up with Marine veteran Brian Anderson-Needham who owns Weapon Brand, a self-defense training company. His message was clear: no amount of money is worth your life.
“In this situation in particular, it has to do with money,” he said. “I would say, if you’re being robbed, money is something you can get back.”
“Give them your purse, give them your keys, do whatever you can to make space and get out,” he continued. “If you can’t, you’re going to have to fight.”
When asked about how people could avoid this type of situation, Anderson-Needham said “each bad guy, they’re going to observe, position and posture.”
“If you can pick up those signs, pick up those indicators, you could possibly avoid the entire situation,” he explained. “If you can’t avoid the situation, we teach you how to fight out of it.”
Here’s where you can find self-defense lessons in the Tampa Bay area:
- Hillsborough County: Outcast Krav Maga
- Pinellas County: Weapon Brand
- Pasco County: Warrior Martial Arts Academy
- Polk County: Polk County Sheriff’s Office
- Manatee County: Goshin JiuJitsu Lakewood Ranch
- Sarasota County: USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus
- Highlands County: Dragons Lair Martial Arts
- Citrus County: Gracie Jiu Jitsu
- Hernando County: WellCome OM Education & Integral Healing Center