Tampa police warn public of ‘bank jugging’ thefts

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) —The Tampa Police Department is looking for a suspect in a “bank jugging” case.

Jugging is a term used when a criminal waits for a victim to withdraw a large sum of cash from a bank or ATM, and then follows them to another location and robs them.

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In the latest case, police said the victim withdrew cash from a bank on Kennedy Boulevard on April 5 and then drove to a nearby restaurant. The victim left the cash in the center console of their vehicle and then the thief took the cash when the victim went inside the restaurant.

Police released a video of the theft in progress.

“These criminals will sit out in a bank and watch for people who are leaving with bank envelopes and then they will follow them and then look in the car to see if the envelope is still in there, they’ll break into the car, as in this case and then they’ll steal the money,” said Eddy Durkin with the Tampa Police Department.

Police said the suspect in this case may have committed the same crime in Houston, Texas.

“Both our detectives and theirs believe that this same suspect is involved in jugging cases over there and now in the Tampa Bay area,” said Durkin.

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Over the last four years, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Plant City Police Department have reported similar crimes involving different suspects.

Police said people need to be very aware of their surroundings when withdrawing large sums of cash.

“Always be aware of your surroundings if you are taking a large sum of money. If it’s from inside or from an ATM, be aware of your surroundings, like see who is standing around. If you are not sure or if you see somebody suspicious, call the police department,” said Durkin.

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