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Are Recent Juarez Robberies Cartel-Related?

by ABC-7 Reporter Veronique Masterson

JUAREZ, Mexico — In just the last month, several banks and a restaurant have been robbed in Juarez. The question now is, are the robberies related to the warring drug cartels?

According to our news partners at channel 44 in Juarez, the criminals would like everyone to think the robberies are cartel-related. They seem to be under the impression that if a crime is committed by the cartel, authorities won’t investigate as vigorously.

Mexican authorities called it a victory Tuesday morning. They said the restaurant robbery involved only one person who organized teenagers to commit the crime.

Three men were arrested and accused of making off with equivalent of $5,000 from a Juarez Applebee’s last week.

Our news partners south of the border say the men posed as members of a drug cartel for intimidation purposes.

The Juarez Restaurant Association called the robbers nothing more than “delinquents.” The association went after the criminals with a $10,000 reward ad in the Juarez newspaper.

Meanwhile, authorities are still on the hunt for suspects in a recent rash of bank robberies. ATMs have been hit and there have also been quite a few holdups. Juarez authorities say the first 48 hours after the crime are crucial.

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