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Waco police warn of increase in 'bank jugging' cases

Posted at 7:17 PM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 21:28:22-04

WACO, Texas  — Police are warning Waco residents about a recent increase in a very specific crime called bank jugging.

Bank jugging is when a criminal waits in a bank parking lot watching customers come in and out. They'll follow the person to another location and break into their car looking for any cash they may have received from the bank.

"It's happened in Waco before but not to this extent," Waco PD's PIO Cierra Shipley said. "We just want the public to be aware, notice their surroundings. If you see someone just sitting in their car not really doing anything, make sure you take note of that."

There's been four bank jugging cases in just three days in Waco, an increase more likely to be seen in Houston or Dallas.

Austin police recently announced its officers saw 62 incidents last year. That averages just over five each month, which is barely more than a weekend in Waco.

Waco police addressed the increase on its weekly 'On The Beat' podcast. They encouraged people to not only be vigilant but also to not make many stops after visiting a bank.

"You're getting that money for a purpose. Get it where it needs to get," Officer AJ Smith said on the podcast. "Don't stop off and go shopping for whatever over here or go to the convenience store for that. They're following you to each destination looking for a good opportunity to break in and get your stuff."

If you suspect someone might be following you, police urge you to call them and have them meet you at your next stop or you can just drive to the police station.

It's also always best practice to not leave anything valuable in your car, including money.