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'Bank jugging' new crime trend in Martin County

Posted at 7:02 PM, Aug 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 19:02:32-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — Crooks are employing the work-smarter, not harder tactic in one county and there’s a new trend that’s popped up that Martin County Sheriff’s Office says they aren’t going to tolerate.

It’s called bank jugging. It’s a criminal term most people WPTV spoke to never heard of. But it’s pretty well known to law enforcement.

”Criminals go fishing where there are fish and if you’re leaving a bank with something of value you may have somebody watching you,” said William D. Snyder, Martin County sheriff.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, a man on July 23 cashed a check at Wells Fargo located at 4189 NW Federal Highway in Jensen Beach. He left the bank with at least $1800 before stopping about a half-mile away at Harbor Freight located at 4500 NW Federal Highway to exchange an item.

The man left the cash in his vehicle. Investigators say approximately 10-minutes later when he returned a window was smashed and the $1800 was missing. The sheriff believes this latest crime of opportunity is going under-reported.

”The takeaway for everybody is this - if you go to the bank and come out with a bank bag or safety deposit contents - and you put that in your car you need to be very careful and see if somebody is following you,” said Snyder.

”You really have to look 360-degrees always and be cognizant of your surroundings so you don’t get caught,” added Stan Waite, a Martin County resident.

Investigators say criminals behind bank jugging will likely travel in a stolen vehicle or overdue rental. They advise citizens if you suspect someone following you from a bank don’t be afraid to call 9-1-1.