Bank Jugging? What in the world?

Actually, you’re not alone in your confusion about this term.  Several times over the past few months, I’ve been approached by many I serve telling me they’ve heard the term on television and radio; but, are a little uncertain of what exactly bank jugging is.

Let me clear away the confusion.

Jugging is a term used by criminals, and now law enforcement, to describe the stalking of potential victims as a prelude to burglary or robbery.

Jugging takes place when a criminal sees you with something he wants and he follows you until an opportunity is presented to take that “something” from you. It is employed in this manner… Criminal A is staking out the mall parking lot and sees Victim B exit the mall with loads of merchandise.  They then lie in wait until the victim loads the car and drives to the closest restaurant for that much-needed, after-shopping lunch stop.

When Victim B parks the car at the local diner and heads inside, out pops Criminal A, who breaks into the car, steals the merchandise and slips away unseen.

This growing crime is on the rise and it has many faces.  Recently, it was reported that jugging is on the rise in the Houston area.  It’s true.  As criminals begin to employ the work-smarter-not-harder tactic, they have become seasoned professions at sizing, evaluating, stalking and stealing from their victims.

Usually, however, the term jugging is reserved for those criminals who steal from victims who have just left a bank or ATM.  This type of jugging, or bank jugging as it is known, puts the criminal in the prime spot for a big score.  They watch from the bank parking lot, or somewhere close-by, and see who is leaving with a bank bag in their hand, who counts the most money at the teller machine, and who is carrying the thickest withdrawal envelope.

Then, in hopes the victim will leave the money in the car when they exit to do other things, the bank juggers follow the inattentive victim to their next location.  When the victim parks the car and disappears from view, the bank juggers quickly approach the victim’s vehicle, break into it, and steal the money.  Surprisingly, more often than not, the money is left inside. When the victim returns to their vehicle, the money is gone and the juggers are nowhere to be seen.

Yes.  It’s as quick as that.

Just in case you’re wondering, it can get much worse from there.  Sometimes, desperate times breed desperate measures, and a break-in becomes a robbery.

So, from me to you, realize this crime is out there.  Watch your rearview mirror.  Keep your money hidden.  Never leave your money in the car and always stay alert. Complacency makes you an easy target.

In the end, you are the greatest guardian of your family and funds. Be safe, stay alert and Happy Holidays from your team at Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct 2.