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Crooks target ATM users in San Jose area

Police warn of car burglaries after bank visits

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There's a neighborhood crime alert for the San Jose area, where Jacksonville police are warning people to be careful at the ATM. 

Crooks have been following people from the ATM, and then breaking into their cars.

People who live and work in the area told News4Jax on Thursday that they're planning to be more careful when getting money from the ATM, and they'll be looking to their left and right before making any withdrawals. 

"Always look around," one resident, named John, said. "It's better to go during the daytime when it's light outside versus nighttime."

John said he goes to the bank often, and he will now be more careful after a recent post on NextDoor from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

In the post, police said, people are leaving banks along San Jose Boulevard with their money and then running errands. 

"The crooks are following them to various places and striking once they leave their money in the car," the post reads. 

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said the best advice is to make bank runs after other errands are finished.

"Whenever you're running your errands, you should make the bank one of your last stops," Smith said. "If you can't, I'm always telling people, whenever you approach the ATM on foot or in a car, just look around. Look in the bushes. Look for people in parked cars who are just sitting there."

Jorge Berrios said he does just that, and he also avoids carrying large bills.

"I don't really carry money in this day and age because we've got too many people and it's sad to say, people don't care about nobody in this day and age," Berrios said. 

Another piece of advice that Smith offered was to lock the doors when getting out of the car. 

If anyone spots any suspicious activity at a bank, call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.