VIDEO: Local Police Issue Tax Season ‘Jugging’ Warning

Screengrab of surveillance footage of jugging incident
Screengrab of surveillance footage of jugging incident | Image by Arlington Police Department

Local police have released a video of an apparent “jugging” to warn residents about an expected uptick in such offenses this tax season.

As April 15’s Tax Day rapidly approaches, the Arlington Police Department (APD) anticipates an increase in jugging incidents. Juggings are robberies in which perpetrators target individuals visiting banks or ATMs, according to WFAA. Criminals either ambush their victims in parking lots or follow them to another location, even to their victims’ homes, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

To demonstrate the gravity of this type of criminal activity, APD publically released a video of a jugging.

In this incident, a man’s vehicle was broken into in the parking lot of Nam Hung Mall after he had stopped at a Chase Bank across the street. The surveillance video shows a car park next to the victim’s vehicle and a male suspect hopping out. The suspect can be seen trying the door, but he could not get inside, so he opted to break in through the back.

“He broke the rear window and snatched the large amount of money in the driver’s seat. You’ll notice how quickly he left,” said APD Sgt. Alex Rosado, according to WFAA. “He is very clearly working with somebody else, so this is more than one person involved in this criminal episode.”

Jugging incidents saw a considerable surge last year, as previously covered by The Dallas Express. In Dallas, as many as 143 cases had been logged last summer, with suspects hailing from as far away as Houston to commit these crimes. While the episode portrayed in the APD video shows the crime occurring after the driver had already exited the vehicle, this is not always the case.

“We don’t want to see it escalate into someone getting hurt,” said Rosado, according to WFAA. “We do anticipate these types of offenses to occur as people are cashing large checks at banks and walking away with money, so we are really trying to get ahead of it before that happens.”

“There are certain cultures in Arlington that are known for carrying large sums of cash,” he added. The elderly, as well as Asian and Hispanic individuals, are often targeted by juggers, Rosado explained to WFAA.

Nonetheless, Rosado stressed that anyone can be a victim, so he advised the public to be aware and to have some strategies in place for protection. APD’s guidance was similar to that issued by the Dallas Police Department in a public service announcement last year:

Avoid making large withdrawals in the first place, but if unavoidable, do so discreetly — such as concealing cash in an envelope — and bring someone with you.

Be aware of your surroundings, avoid distractions, and keep valuables out of sight.

Call 911 if you suspect you are being followed, and drive to the nearest police station. Collect information about the suspect’s vehicle to report to the police.

In Dallas, 459 robberies have been logged in the City’s crime analytics dashboard since March 22, roughly on pace with last year. Property crimes are the most prevalent type of crime in Dallas overall, with motor vehicle theft being the most common, with 3,557 reports so far this year.

DPD has been struggling to curb crime due to a longstanding staffing shortfall. For instance, Downtown Dallas regularly logs more crime than neighboring Fort Worth’s city center, which is patrolled by a dedicated police unit and private security guards.

Meanwhile, DPD fields roughly 3,000 officers despite the City having previously recommended a force of 4,000 in a public safety analysis based on Dallas’ population size.

Nevertheless, City leaders recently approved a budget of just $654 million for DPD this fiscal year, which is considerably less taxpayer money spent on policing than in other high-crime jurisdictions, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.

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