How To Avoid Bank “Jugging” Crimes



“Jugging” is a crime that involves targeting individuals, often the elderly or distracted, who have just withdrawn money from a bank, ATM, or financial institution. The “jug” refers to the bag or container used by the victim to hold the cash they withdrew. It has become one of the fastest growing crimes, leading police departments to warn people on social media about these crimes.

The process of jugging typically involves the following steps:

  1. Observation: Criminals identify potential targets by observing people at banks or ATMs who withdraw significant amounts of cash.
  2. Tracking: The criminals follow the targeted individuals discreetly, tracking them to their next destination, such as their home or place of work.
  3. Wait for the Right Moment: They wait for an opportunity to strike when the target is away from their vehicle or otherwise distracted
  4. Vehicle Break-in: If the target leaves the cash in their car the criminals break into the vehicle and steal the money.
  5. Direct Confrontation: In some cases, they may use intimidation or force to steal the cash from the victim.To reduce the risk of becoming a victim of jugging, it is essential to be vigilant and take precautions when withdrawing or carrying large amounts of cash.

Here are some tips:

    1. Be Discreet at ATMs: Avoid displaying large sums of money in public view. Use ATMs in well-lit and populated areas, preferably during daylight hours. Although less convenient, it is always safer to withdraw cash the “old school” way, inside a guarded bank.
    2. Vary your Routines: Criminals often stake out certain locations. Vary the times and locations of your cash transactions. If possible, take someone with you.
    3. Secure your Cash: If you must carry large sums of money, keep it concealed and avoid leaving it unattended in your vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is locked as soon as you get in.
    4. Be Aware of your Surroundings: Be mindful of anyone who appears to be monitoring your movements or displaying suspicious behavior. Notice people sitting in their cars.
    5. Report any Suspicious Activity: If you believe you are being followed or observed, call 911 or go to the nearest police or fire station.

Jugging is a “crime of opportunity”. The victims may be seen as easy targets because they are less cautious about their surroundings after completing a financial transaction or purchasing a large ticket item such as a watch or jewelry. Your personal safety should be your highest priority. Learning how to avoid dangerous situations is one of the primary tools in the COBRA™ Self Defense System.

Michael Alban
COBRA™ Self Defense Instructor #552