HOUSTON – The Houston Police Department is warning residents to aware of their surroundings and be alert the next time they go to the ATM to avoid becoming a victim of “juggings.”
“Jugging” refers to a customer who is targeted by thieves as they leave a bank with cash, police officials said.
HPD says many jugging victims do not know why they were targeted or even realize they were being followed. Juggers usually conduct surveillance at a bank prior to committing their crimes.
The jugger parks their vehicle, usually with heavy tinted windows, in an area allowing him to watch the front doors, the outside ATM machine and the drive-through teller line.
Most juggers choose to park in a back row of the bank, directly facing the front doors. Bank bags and bank envelopes are two top items that will draw a jugger’s attention.
Generally, juggings occur when the customer leaves the bank and goes to another retail or commercial business.
Suspects will typically follow a customer’s vehicle from the bank, with the intent to either breaking into the vehicle or robbing the customer.
Police say a jugger can break into your vehicle and steal your money in as little as five seconds.
A video of a jugging re-enactment can be viewed on the HPD YouTube Channel or below:
HPD recommends the following to avoid becoming a jugging victim:
- Be alert and attentive to your surroundings
- Look for suspicious vehicles near the ATM or in front of the bank
- Never make a bank bag, envelope or carrying case visible
- Once you leave the bank, make a mental note of any vehicles that may be following you
HPS says if you feel you are being followed, call 911 immediately. Give your current location, direction of travel, vehicle description and the description of the vehicle following you.