The Austin Police Department is raising the alarm about increased “jugging” cases happening throughout the capital of Texas, as more than 61 instances of theft outside banks and other financial institutions have occurred so far this year.
“A ‘jugging” is when a suspect loiters inside and outside of a financial institution (including but not limited to large banks, check-cashing stores, drive-through bank services, ATMs, and smaller banking branches) and targets anyone who appears to have withdrawn cash,” Austin police explained.
“The suspect follows the victim away from the financial institution to break into the victim’s vehicle or rob the victim for the money,” police continued.
More than half a million dollars have been stolen in the 61 cases so far this year.
Police say that residents can protect themselves by taking note of people hanging around bank lobbies, avoiding distractions during financial transactions, securing cash in an inconspicuous bag after withdrawing from a bank, and locking car doors when exiting a vehicle.
The crime trend is happening in other parts of Texas and the United States as well. Arlington, Texas, police reported that a man smashed a victim’s window and stole money and other items from a car after the victim left a bank last month.
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department also arrested a group last month accused of trying to rob an ATM technician who was serving a Bank of America location.