JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is warning people Wednesday about a growing trend called “jugging.”
“Jugging” is a nation-wide issue where criminals are specifically targeting people leaving banks with money.
According to police, a couple of criminals are ordinarily sitting in a car, hiding near a bank and waiting for customers who go in empty-handed, then come out with something in their hands.
Whether it’s an envelope, a money bag or valuables from a safety deposit box, the robbers watch the customer walk out of the bank, get in their cars, then follow them. Once the customer stops at another business, the robbers quickly break into their car, ordinarily by smashing a window and stealing the valuables or cash in a matter of seconds.
“A lot of times victims will just get in their car, they will take their money envelope and they will just put it in the console,” Officer Christian Handcock said.
Hancock said when people are that complacent it makes it too easy for criminals. Hancock calls it a crime of opportunity and has tips for people to avoid getting their money or valuables stolen.
“Pay attention to the parking lots. Look around. Know what is around you. Survey the area. If you see somebody sitting in the car, be a little more secretive about what you were going into the bank about,” Hancock said. “We also would suggest that if you are going to do something like that, make that your last stop. Know that you are not going to go anywhere else.”
The Sheriff’s Office said in some cases across the country, the criminals are confronting victims as they were walking, which has the potential to turn into a violent situation.
Anyone who sees robbers “jugging” people is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500.