Bank jugging beginning to pick up in Odessa

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Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 9:37 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -Odessans should be on the lookout for a form of robbery called bank jugging.

This scheme refers to suspects stalking and robbing people who they believe have a significant amount of cash on them.

This form of robbery follows someone from a bank or an ATM and then tries to steal their car or the person directly at gunpoint.

It seemed to have slowed down last month, but in the past few days, it’s started to kick off again.

“We actually sent out a PSA on this about a month ago. We had a couple incidents, since January, and within the last few days, we’ve had two more incidents,” said Public Information Officer for the Odessa Police Department, Steven LeSueur.

However, this crime isn’t just happening in the Permian Basin.

“It’s been happening all over the country. So it’s become more and more common. But we just want to make it very clear just please be safe, again if you feel that someone is following you, please report it immediately. Don’t drive home,” said LeSueur.

OPD says that if you do go to a bank or an ATM, make sure you’re aware of your surroundings.

These suspects may be watching from a distance and may also follow you to your next destination.

Because the suspect waits until their target has parked and gotten out, most of the time at homes, the crime hasn’t been caught on camera yet.

And investigators aren’t sure what the motive is for these crimes.

“I think in one case, the suspect thought the victim left the money in the vehicle. So, they actually went through the vehicle and burglarized the vehicle, but then thankfully the person took the money. In some cases, they’re burglarizing the vehicle and in some cases, they’re robbing the individual,” said LeSueur.

LeSueur says they’re not sure if it’s one person or multiple people working together.

OPD recommends to not carry any bank bags, envelopes or coin boxes, especially during the nighttime.

If you want to report any suspicious activity or feel like you’re being followed, call 911.