The Waco Police Department is raising awareness of the increase of “bank jugging” in the area.
The department says they have seen an increase of this crime in the past couple of months, with suspects being known to strike multiple cities statewide.
The department has worked five of these cases, with the first on November 21, 2018 and the most recent occurring on February 6, 2019. There was an additional occurrence in Woodway, as well.
They say it appears the suspects are targeting banks and victims in the West Waco area, typically during midday hours. The thefts have ranged from $500 to $9,000 in cash. These types of crimes were also reported to the department about one and a half years ago, as well.
During a bank jugging crime, the suspect(s) watch bank customers enter and exit from the business. They believe these people have cash (by visual confirmation) from the bank parking lot or nearby business, and they follow the victim’s vehicle to another location with the intent of burglarizing the vehicle once it is unoccupied.
The suspect vehicle will park next to or near the victim, where they will force entry and specifically target where the suspect(s) saw the victim hide the money inside the vehicle.
* Suspects will lease or rent vehicles, tint windows dark and remove tint when returning the vehicle.
* Plates are often removed and/or replaced with temporary tags.
* Suspect vehicle backs into parking space facing the front door or at times suspect(s) will enter the back and surveil customers under the ruse of making a bank transaction.
The most common theme the department has noticed from these criminals is that they watch for obvious signs the victim is carrying out cash. For example, full bank envelopes, carrying bank bags or customers holding wads of cash in their hands as they exit the banks.
The most important things people can do to safeguard their selves from becoming victims of this crime is to conceal their cash transaction as much as possible. Do not leave cash in your vehicle, be very aware of their surroundings and watch to see if they are being followed.
Bank staff, as well as customers, are strongly encouraged to be aware of people or vehicles loitering in and around banks. Any strange behavior should immediately be reported to 911.
Source: Waco Police Department