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“Jugging” is a robbery tactic criminals use to quickly target drivers who might have cash on their person. Unfortunately, the maneuver is gaining popularity across the country. Texas drivers are experiencing a surge of instances. Consequently, the Austin Police Department issued guidelines for drivers to protect themselves. So, what is jugging, and how can you keep yourself off thieves’ radar?

What is jugging?

A criminal commits a robbery by jugging in what is a brazen tactic.
A criminal prompts a driver to open up | Paul Biryukov via iStock

“Jugging” refers to the automotive robbery technique wherein armed criminals follow a driver who just used an ATM or banking services. They typically follow their target to their home, block them in, and rob them at gunpoint. Unfortunately, the practice has the potential to be quite violent.

What is an example of jugging?

Texas resident Mark Gardner was a recent victim of jugging. In Gardner’s case, three armed individuals emerged from a Chevrolet SUV with weapons drawn and demanded he surrender his cash. Fortunately, the simpletons left a gap wide enough for Gardner to slip by in his BMW.

The situation could have been deadly if the robbers had blocked Gardner in. However, Gardner eluded the armed men, who then returned to their vehicle and left quickly.  

You can protect yourself from jugging with these tips

The Austin Police Department (APD) released five tips for drivers to avoid falling victim to criminals and violent thieves.

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Don’t leave cash inside vehicles
  • Change the route you take after leaving the bank
  • Carry any cash, credit and debit cards, and checks discretely
  • Call 9-1-1 if you believe you are being followed

Thieves are opportunists– especially criminals who carry out thefts like jugging and smash-and-grabs. They identify a quick quarry with manageable risk and act quickly. However, being aware of your surroundings can help. Noticing a tail after leaving a bank can result in quicker notifications for authorities to intervene. Furthermore, flashing cash or storing valuables in the line of sight invites criminals to target you. 

Beyond making yourself a less conspicuous target for criminals, you should remain calm and avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation. Specifically, if you suspect that you’re being followed, resist the urge to head home. Instead, call the authorities and give them accurate information about your location, heading, vehicle, and the tailing vehicle.


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