New Crime Trend: ‘Jugging’
The word ‘juug’ has been around for almost ten years as a street term meaning to get money through a multitude of criminal activities including drug dealing, counterfeiting or robbing. In this case, criminals are stealing the money directly from the target, from their car or home. Career criminals realize that patience pays off. All over the country, people are falling victim to jugging as criminals are identifying a soft target and conducting reconnaissance and surveillance over several hours and even days. The targets are individuals or small business owners who regularly visit a bank to either withdraw or deposit large sums of money. The banking patrons are followed home or to work until the best opportunity to strike presents itself.
Targets are selected with the knowledge of having a significant amount of cash on hand. Either you waited on line in the bank or visited the ATM and withdrew the money. Or at the end of a long workday, you are headed to the bank to drop-off all your hard-earned cash. Regardless, the thieves are watching. Once they know you have a significant amount of money they follow you. Did you stop at the store the buy milk before heading home? If so, chances are they will break into your car to retrieve the money. If the money is on your person, they will merely rob and take it by force. Some robberies were committed the minute the individual stepped out of the bank or ATM. Note: In one case in Houston, the bank teller orchestrated the robbery of a small business owner who regularly withdraws $75,000 for her business.
How to Protect Yourself
With the criminals lurking waiting to pounce, you must be just as patience and cognizant of your surroundings and actions. The best defense is to avoid being selected as a target, to begin with. Criminals will first choose soft targets, meaning those who will be the easy prey. Do you have the same routine every day? For instance, your business closes at 5:00pm. After completing your bookkeeping, you take the cash earned and bank bag and head to the bank by 5:30pm. You arrive at approximately 5:45pm to deposit the money in the after-hours drop box. If the criminals are watching, the best opportunity for them to strike will be between the bank and your business when the money is vulnerable with limited security.
Your vigilance and situational awareness can deter criminals and keep you safe.
To avoid being selected as a target, you must be aware of your surroundings and your actions. Put your phone down and stop to observe the area for anomalies. Before leaving your home, bank, business or car scan the area for anything out of the ordinary. You’ll be surprised what you’ll notice. If you are vigilant, you might see the same people at the bank are now at the grocery store you’re about to enter. Vary your routine as much as possible. Do you use the same route daily? Do you always visit the same bank location? Are your routines on time and predictable? Varying your route makes it difficult for criminals to plan. An extra 10 minutes in traffic or leaving 15 minutes earlier may be the difference maker. Your vigilance and situational awareness can deter criminals and keep you safe.
The term jugging is believed to have originated in Atlanta, but the crime trend began in Houston. Slowly but surely, the crime trend is making its way across the nation as jugging has been reported in virtually every state including large cities and small towns. When a crime is this lucrative, it is only a matter a time before it is a staple in the criminal underground. Criminals are evolving, to stay ahead and protect yourself you must develop the necessary skills needed to become a hard target.
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