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‘Bank Jugging’ on the Rise During the Holidays

A close-up image of a person's hand pressing the buttons on an ATM keypad
Source: Eduardo Soares/Unsplash

In a concerning trend as the holiday season approaches, law enforcement agencies are warning the public about a new type of crime called ‘Bank Jugging’. This criminal activity involves thieves targeting individuals who have just withdrawn cash from banks.

The thieves then follow these individuals to another location, often creating a diversion, before stealing the money. This warning is especially pertinent during the holiday season, when people are likely to carry more cash for shopping and other festive preparations.

A driver spoke to Inside Edition, recalling how after withdrawing $20,000 from a bank for a house down payment, she was followed to a mall. According to police reports, a member of the criminal group distracted her by asking if she had dropped money. While she was distracted, an accomplice stole her purse containing the $20,000 from her open car door. This method of creating a distraction is a common tactic used in such crimes.

However, not all jugging incidents involve a distraction. Inside Edition reports another case of a driver who had withdrawn $1,000 from the bank. He was followed by a group of men who then forcibly smashed his car window and stole the envelope with the cash. These instances demonstrate the varying methods used by criminals in bank jugging, ranging from deception to outright aggression.

Officer Ryan Railsback from the Riverside Police Department in California provided essential safety tips for those needing to withdraw large amounts of cash. He advised, “Number one, try not to withdraw that large amount of money in cash. Get it in a check, some other type of format. Number two, if you have to, take somebody with you. Number three, just be aware of your surroundings,” as reported by Inside Edition.

Experts also suggest that if someone suspects they are being followed after a bank visit, they should immediately head to the nearest police station and call 911. This proactive measure can significantly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of bank jugging.

The authorities emphasize the need for public awareness and caution during this time of year, as the increased spending and cash withdrawals associated with the holiday season can make individuals more vulnerable to such crimes.

As the festive season ushers in a period of increased financial activity, the threat of bank jugging looms as a serious concern. Law enforcement officials are urging the public to be cautious when withdrawing large sums of money and to be aware of their surroundings. The suggested safety measures and awareness can play a crucial role in preventing these crimes and ensuring a safe holiday season for everyone.


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