AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police said more than $500,000 has been lost since Jan. 1 due to suspects robbing bank customers.

APD said it is investigating 61 jugging cases from Jan. 1 to July 26.

According to an APD press release, jugging occurs when a suspect loiters inside and outside of a financial institution and targets anyone who appears to have withdrawn cash. The suspect follows the victim away from the financial institution to break into the victim’s vehicle or rob the victim for the money.

APD said this frequently happens when cash bags are visible as the victim leaves the bank or ATM.

Austin Police recommend you take the following precautions the next time you get cash:

  • Take note of anyone that is hanging around in the lobby of the bank or parking lot that does not appear immediately occupied
  • Try not to be distracted while in the financial institution: don’t be on your phone or wear earbuds
  • Notice any vehicles that may follow you out of the parking lot and ensure you are not being followed
  • Before leaving the counter after receiving cash, secure it in a different bag (other than the small zipper cash bags or envelopes utilized), such as a briefcase or purse
  • Lock your car doors when you get into your vehicle
  • Do not leave large amounts of money inside of your vehicle
  • If you believe you have been followed from a financial institution for any length of time, call 911 or drive to the nearest police station or fire/EMS station.
  • Speak with security at your bank to see if they can help you with large withdrawals or if they have any safety suggestions when withdrawing a significant amount of cash.

APD said investigators are trying to identify trends, series and suspects. Police also said they are trying to get surveillance video from all financial institutions, so they can identify suspects. 

Anyone with details should call the APD Robbery Tip Line at (512) 974-5092, Crime Stoppers at (512) 472-TIPS or use the new Crime Stoppers App.