Fontana Police Department warns residents about robbery tactic known as ‘bank jugging’ | News

The Fontana Police Department has issued a warning to local residents about an escalating criminal activity known as “bank jugging.”

In this type of crime, suspects observe victims as they leave a bank, credit union, ATM, or check-cashing facility, visibly holding cash, and proceed to follow them to their next destination. Upon arriving, the criminals seize the chance to either burglarize the victim’s vehicle or commit robbery directly, the P.D. said in a Facebook post on Aug. 31.

—– A RECENT EXAMPLE of this crime occurred on July 22 at about noon, when the victim went to Chase Bank at 17042 Slover Avenue, withdrew $1,060 in cash and left the location. He then drove to a Walgreens store at 11121 Sierra Avenue and was inside for about seven or eight minutes. When the victim came out of the business, he found his front vehicle window smashed and the envelope of cash missing.

A review of the surveillance video showed what appeared to be a newer model Toyota 4Runner pull into the parking lot shortly after the victim parked. The suspect vehicle backed into the stall next to the victim’s vehicle, and a suspect exited from the driver side. The suspect smashed the window with an unknown tool and climbed partially through the window to take the money. The suspect reentered his vehicle and drove eastbound out of the parking lot.

—– HERE ARE some safety tips to combat bank jugging:

1. Be vigilant of individuals lingering without purpose in the vicinity of the parking area or lobby of a financial institution.

2. Maintain focus while you are inside the bank. Refrain from using your phone or wearing earbuds to avoid distractions.

3. When you have obtained cash, secure it in a nondescript bag, like a briefcase or purse, rather than the small cash envelopes or bags often provided.

4. Upon entering your vehicle, ensure all doors are locked.

5. Avoid leaving large sums of money unattended in your car.

6. Be conscious of any vehicles that might be trailing you after you leave the parking area.

7. If you suspect you are being followed, contact emergency services immediately by calling 911 or head straight to the nearest police or fire station.

“Remember: If you see something, say something. Your awareness can help protect both you and your community,” the P.D. said in the Facebook post.

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