CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) — Next time you’re at the bank, take a quick look around the parking lot before you go in. Someone might be watching you.
Two years ago, Tyler Sample became a victim of “bank jugging,” and now he wants to warn others so they don’t become victims too.
“I took out quite a bit of money to go put a new down payment on a new truck,” Sample said. He stopped to pick up the cash at the Wells Fargo on East Whitestone Boulevard in Cedar Park.
After picking up the money, he drove to a nearby convenience store, but when he came out his money was gone.
“I saw my car and the window was completely bashed in,” Sample said. “The console was pulled up and the only thing missing was that envelope.”
What is bank jugging?
“A group of individuals sits outside of a bank and watches for an unsuspecting person to go inside,” said Lt. Larry Bond with the Cedar Park Police Department.
Then when the victim leaves, the thief follows until that person makes a stop. Once the victim leaves the car the thief breaks in and takes what they can.
“It is becoming more common,” Bond said. “It is not something that thankfully occurs every day, however, it does come through in cycles.”
Lt. Bond said the numbers haven’t jumped significantly in their area, but it is something to keep an eye on.
In 2020, there were two instances in Cedar Park, and the latest data shows there have been four so far in 2021.
“When the economy slows with the pandemic you generally do see more property crime which is what this falls under,” Bond said. “Vehicle burglaries, breaking into buildings, things of that nature.”
This holiday season, Sample said he will be keeping his eyes peeled, but he also wants to warn others.
“I didn’t think it would happen to me, and sure enough it did, and then it was too late,” Sample said. “I am telling you to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.”
Sample said no one was ever convicted in his case.
Lt. Bond said if you take out a large sum of money keep it with you and don’t leave it in the car if you have to leave.