Bank jugging is a term used to describe suspects who watch people withdraw money from an ATM or go in and out of the financial institution. The suspect targets anyone who comes out with a bank bag, coin box, or money envelope that looks like they may have a large amount of cash. The suspects then follow the person and look for an opportunity to take their cash. Similar schemes have also been committed outside of high-end stores that sell jewelry or other valuables.
Most often the crime occurs at the destination the victim stops at after leaving the bank or credit union. When the customer attempts to leave their vehicle they are robbed. Victims are often small business owners or the elderly.
Bank Juggers often park where they have clear visibility of the front door, the commercial drive-thru lane, or the ATM. If the line of visibility is obscured they will change parking spots. Be aware of vehicles that park but no occupants enter the bank or credit union.
To avoid becoming a victim, follow these guidelines:
- Look for occupied vehicles hanging out in bank parking lots. Be on the lookout for individuals backed into parking spaces, who do not exit their vehicles to conduct business.
- Be vigilant when using ATMs, as they typically target individuals using ATMs. Also, individuals leaving the branch should exercise caution as they could also be targeted.
- After making a large withdrawal, don't go directly to your next destination. Drive around a random block to see if a vehicle is following you.
- Avoid falling into routines, such as going to the bank/credit union at the same time of day carrying the same bank bag
- Be vigilant when arriving and departing. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t leave your car or the building if you observe suspicious vehicles parked in or around the parking lot.
- Conceal your bank deposit bags, coin boxes, or envelopes as you enter and leave the bank.
- Don't openly carry bank bags, envelopes, or coin boxes.
- Watch for people following you.
- Take your bank bag or envelope with you to your next destination. Don’t hide it in your vehicle.
- Make banking the last stop of your errands.
- If you think you are being targeted/followed, call 911 and keep the dispatcher on the line to describe your location and where you are headed. Keep driving until a marked police car finds you.