Houston, Texas Police Warn Citizens About 'Jugging' Phenomenon: Thieves Targeting Shoppers and Bank Customers.

In Houston, Texas, a new and alarming crime trend has residents on high alert.

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The Houston Police Department has issued a warning about "jugging," a phenomenon where thieves follow individuals from banks, stores, or shopping centers with the intent of stealing valuable items. This tactic involves criminals watching people withdraw cash or purchase expensive items, then trailing them to their next location to commit the theft.

The Rise of Jugging in Houston

Jugging is not entirely new, but its resurgence in Houston has been troubling. The term "jugging" originates from a type of surveillance where criminals target people who appear to be carrying large amounts of money or valuable goods. Once marked, these individuals are followed and robbed, often violently. The trend has seen an uptick in recent months, prompting local authorities to take action.

How Jugging Works

The modus operandi of these thieves is both cunning and straightforward. Criminals typically scout busy areas like banks, ATMs, high-end stores, and electronics shops. They watch for people who withdraw large sums of cash, make big purchases, or carry high-value items. Once a target is identified, the thieves follow them by car or on foot to their next destination, which could be their home, another store, or even a parking lot.


At the opportune moment, when the target is least expecting it, the thieves strike. These incidents can range from quick snatch-and-grabs to more confrontational approaches. Some victims have reported being followed for miles before the thieves made their move, indicating a high level of premeditation and organization among the criminals.  

Real-life Stories

Another victim, John Patel, was targeted after buying a new laptop from an electronics store. "I drove home and parked in my driveway. As I was getting out of the car, someone ran up, grabbed the shopping bag, and took off. It all happened so fast."


Police Response and Safety Tips

The Houston Police Department has been actively addressing this issue, urging citizens to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings. They recommend several precautionary measures to avoid becoming a victim of jugging:

  • Be Observant: Pay attention to anyone who might be watching you closely or following you, especially after visiting a bank or making a significant purchase.
  • Change Your Routine: If you suspect you are being followed, take a different route or drive to a public place like a police station instead of heading straight home.
  • Conceal Your Valuables: Avoid displaying cash or expensive items in public. Use unmarked bags and consider making smaller, more frequent withdrawals instead of one large transaction.
  • Stay in Well-lit Areas: When walking to your car or home, stick to well-lit areas and avoid isolated places.
  • Use Security Measures: Installing security cameras and alarms at home can deter criminals. Parking in well-lit areas and avoiding distractions like smartphones when walking to your car are also advised.

Community Vigilance

Community awareness and vigilance are crucial in combating this crime wave. Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious activities to the police immediately. By working together and staying informed, Houston can reduce the risk of jugging and protect its citizens from these targeted attacks.

The rise of jugging in Houston serves as a stark reminder of the importance of personal security and awareness. As this disturbing trend continues to pose a threat, the combined efforts of law enforcement and the community will be key to mitigating its impact. Stay safe, Houston, and always keep an eye out for suspicious behavior.

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