AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department said it is seeing an uptick in “jugging” cases in the area.
APD said there have been at least 62 “jugging” incidents over the last year at Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase Bank.
What is “jugging”?
Jugging was explained by APD as a form of robbery. A suspect follows a victim from a bank, ATM or check-cashing store to their next location. There, the suspect threatens or assaults the victim, and demands or takes the money, police said.
Police said the crime usually happens when cash is visible as the victim leaves the bank or ATM.
“Be aware”: Tips from APD
APD suggests these tips to avoid becoming a “jugging” victim:
- 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: on your phone, wearing earbuds, etc.
- Notice any vehicles that may follow you out of the parking lot and make sure you are not being followed
- Before leaving the counter/ATM 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
- If you believe you are being followed from a financial institution for any length, please call 911 or drive to the nearest police station, fire/EMS station.
- Speak with security at your bank to see if they can assist you with large withdrawals or if they have any safety suggestions when withdrawing a large amount of cash.
If you have information about these incidents, call the APD Robbery tip line at (512) 974-5092, Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS, or use the Crime Stoppers App. You can also submit tips by downloading APD’s mobile app, Austin PD.