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MCSO: Woman Robbed in Yet Another Bank Jugging Incident; Two Colombians Arrested; Sheriff Warns Residents to Beware

Adrian Felipe Perez-Rocha and Bryam Cardenas-Moreno
Adrian Felipe Perez-Rocha and Bryam Cardenas-Moreno

Martin County - Wednesday May 1, 2024: Following the latest bank jugging incident in Martin County, the Sheriff's Office is warning residents to beware when leaving a bank, or store, after withdrawing money or purchasing expensive goods.

The most recent case in Martin County involved a woman who left a Palm City bank last Thursday, April 25th.

When she drove away, she noticed the tire pressure on her vehicle was going down. She stopped at a WAWA in Stuart to put air in her tires. When she got out of her car she saw that her tires had been slashed. Then, a man got into her vehicle and grabbed the bank envelope, purse and cell phone lying inside.

The woman tried to stop the thief, but he pushed her "violently" to the ground, according to a post on the Martin County Sheriff (MCSO) Facebook page. The man then ran back to his getaway vehicle being driven by another suspect, and they sped away and got on I-95 heading north.

MCSO Corporal Ronnie Manganiello was able to quickly track down the suspect vehicle and make a felony stop. Both men were arrested. Inside the car Corporal Manganiello found the victim's money. He also found a window punch, gloves, a black hat, a ski mask, and a zipper pouch containing cash.

The two suspects have been identified as 39-year old Adrian Felipe Perez-Rocha from Columbia, who is accused of being the person who robbed the victim, and 27-year old Bryam Cardenas-Moreno, also from Colombia, who drove the get-away vehicle.

The Sheriff's office described the robbery as typical of South American crime gangs that have "infiltrated" into the United States and have been recruiting criminal co-defendants throughout the country. They "have no regard for life or property," states the Sheriff.

The Sheriff advises residents to be cautions and follow these precautions:

  • If you go inside the bank, do not display any bags or envelopes as you leave.
  • When you leave the bank parking lot, lock your car doors.
  • Watch for anyone who exits after you, and pay attention.
  • If you notice that you may suddenly have tire pressure loss after leaving a bank, call 911
  • Let the dispatchers know that you are concerned.
  • Keep driving, if possible, until a deputy intercepts you at your location.
  • If a car hits or bumps you after you have left the bank, call 911 immediately.
  • Explain your situation and wait for instructions.
  • Do not exit your vehicle until a Deputy arrives.

Adrian Felipe Perez-Rocha was arrested and charged with multiple crimes including Robbery by Snatching, Tampering with Evidence, and Grand Theft. The charges were enhanced because the crimes committed fell under the traveling criminal statute. Immigration Services were notified.
Bryam Cardenas-Mareno was also arrested and charged with fleeing and eluding.

Stuart Police are considering additional charges.