Crime Tip: Two cases of “bank jugging” hit neighboring cities recently

What is bank jugging?  The term is used to describe suspects who sit in bank parking lots and watch customers go in and out of a bank. The suspects follow the customers they believe are in possession of cash and look for an opportunity to burglarize their vehicles or rob them directly. “Juggers” most frequently target customers carrying bank bags, bank envelopes and coin boxes. Most “jugging” involves car burglary at retail or commercial businesses the customer stops after leaving the bank.  If a customer leaves the bank and does not leave their money unattended in the vehicle, most “juggers” will go back to the bank to target another banking customer; however, some “juggers” will confront the customer in an attempt to rob them by taking the money by force.

Things to be aware of when banking:  (1) occupied vehicles backed into parking spaces with clear view of the front doors of the bank, ATM or commercial drive thru line; (2) vehicles arriving at bank with no occupants entering the bank; (3) vehicles changing parking spaces; (4) vehicles with dark tinted windows with little or no visibility of the occupants; and (5) vehicles with multiple occupants.

How can you protect yourself? Always be aware of your surroundings; conceal money before leaving the bank. Never openly carry bank bags, envelopes or coin boxes. Be aware of anyone following you from the area of the bank. If you suspect you are being targeted, call 911 from your cell phone and keep the dispatcher informed of your location, the direction you are traveling and drive toward the police department until marked police cars are able to locate you. Do not leave or try to hide your bank bag or bank envelope in your vehicle when you exit at your next destination, even if it’s your residence.

It is easy to become complacent as you go about the business of the day. Criminals often pray upon our inattentiveness and exploit those opportunities. If something doesn’t look right, please don’t be reluctant to report your suspicions to the bank or credit union you are visiting; or simply call police.

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