BEAUMONT - Beaumont Police are waring residents to be careful when leaving their bank after a withdrawal saying that a criminal trend known as "jugging" is on the rise in Southeast Texas.
Customers at the Wells Fargo branch at Major and Gladys have been targeted twice in the last two months according to a Facebook post by the Beaumont Police Department.
In each case the thieves, or "juggers" stole a large amount of money police said.
On October 2 at about 2 p.m. a customer left the Wells Fargo branch on Major and drove to a location on Dowlen Road where a small silver SUV pulled up next to the victim's vehicle.
The "jugger" then smashed the victim's window and stole their cash according to Police
On November 22, 2017 at about 3:45 p.m another Wells Fargo customer withdrew money then drove across Gladys Street to the Royal Stop convenience store to get gas police said.
While the victim was inside the store, a black 2010 Hyundai Sonata pulled up next to his truck and a "jugger" got out of the driver's side rear passenger, opened the vitim's truck door and stole the money according to police.
The suspects then headed north Major, made a U-turn and then headed south on Major Drive police said.
Beaumont Police say they believe these "juggers" may be coming to Southeast Texas from Houston to prey on local residents.
Here's how "jugging" works...
Anyone who goes into a bank could be a target: thieves sit in cars, watch for suspects who may have cash, follow them, and then burglarize their cars when they get a chance.
Suspects will usually target people carrying bank bags, bank envelopes, and coin boxes. 'Juggers' will follow the bank customer out of the bank and to a nearby business after they leave.
If customers don't leave their money unattended, the "juggers" will try a new customer. Be aware: while we have not heard of it in Southeast Texas, "juggers" could approach the victim and try to take the cash by force.
Some tips to fight against juggers:
1. Watch for occupied cars with no one getting out - sometimes with tinted windows - parked with a clear view of the bank's front doors, ATM, or commercial drive-thru lane.
2. Conceal your money before you leave the bank.
3. Don't openly carry bank bags, envelopes, or coin boxes. Use a different type of bag.
4. Watch for people following you.
5. If you think you're being targeted, call 911 and keep the dispatcher in the know - where are you going? What direction are you headed? Keep driving until a marked police car finds you.
6. Don't try to hide your bank bag in your car if you leave and go somewhere else.
7. Make banking the last stop of your errands.
If you'd like to help police cut down on jugging, call them if you notice anyone just sitting in a car outside a bank. Try to get a good description of the vehicle, license plate number and number of people inside.
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