AUSTIN (KXAN) — A woman who says she was the victim of a jugging incident at her office earlier this month is speaking out about her experience.
Jugging is when a suspect follows someone from a bank or ATM, then steals the money withdrawn by either showing a weapon or assaulting the victim. Some jugging cases are considered burglaries by police, because suspects break into a victim’s car instead to steal cash left inside.
The afternoon of Sept. 8, Carly says she went to a Wells Fargo Bank location on South Congress Avenue at the end of her shift to withdraw $1,500 in cash for poker games. KXAN is only using Carly’s first name for safety and privacy reasons.
Carly said she drove back to her office about 10 minutes later.
When she came back out of her office, she noticed one of her vehicle’s windows had been smashed.
After reviewing the security footage with a security guard, it was discovered Carly had been followed from the bank.
“So you can see this Dodge Ram follow me, wait for me to leave my car, and instantly when the office door closed, they pulled up, backed up, opened up a door to essentially hide themselves from the cameras … and then very quickly smashed the window and retrieved the money that was in my console,” Carly explained.
She says she didn’t notice the truck following her either, and she was shocked to see this sort of thing happen in broad daylight.
“I wish I was more aware, usually I do keep an eye out for that kind of thing, just look around, but it just felt like such a normal situation — I did notice anyone following me,” she said.
Carly says the office has visible cameras, and there were even other employees standing in the parking lot when the incident happened.
The Austin Police Department said it’s investigating Carly’s case. It released photos of the suspect’s white Dodge pickup truck recorded on surveillance footage from Carly’s office lot.
But Carly says after she submitted evidence to police, APD said her case had been “suspended.”
No arrests have been made at this time, the department told KXAN Monday.
Even though she hasn’t experienced issues in the past, Carly says she won’t be withdrawing cash in Austin anytime soon, especially with other jugging cases being reported. She’s also warning her friends who visit the bank frequently.
Earlier this month, APD said two suspects followed a woman home from another Wells Fargo location in northwest Austin and assaulted her in front of her house. During the attack, police say the victim was thrown and dragged on the pavement, and the suspects stole her purse with the cash inside.
Also last week, a man was arrested and charged related to another jugging case that took place in central Austin. The victim returned to their apartment after going to Bank of America, and as they got out of their car, the suspect pulled up, grabbed the victim, pushed them against a wall and demanded the money.
In late July, APD said it was investigating at least 61 jugging cases from Jan. 1 to July 26. A combined $500,000 were stolen in those cases. The department at the time recommended these precautions to take if you need to withdraw cash at a bank or ATM:
- Take note of anyone 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 bank. 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 bank 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.