Thousand Oaks Police were seeing an increase in vehicle burglaries that happen after the victims withdraw money from banks and ATMs, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Tuesday.
This is a practice known as “bank jugging.”
Suspects wait in bank parking lots or lobbies and watch customers. When the suspects see someone they believe has withdrawn a large amount of cash, they follow the customer to another location where they steal the cash from the victim's vehicle, the Sheriff's Office explained.
The suspects either break the car's window or pick a door lock to get inside and steal the cash, according to the news release.
The Thousand Oaks Police Department offered some tips for residents to protect their property:
- Don’t leave valuable personal property inside your vehicle, or in plain view.
- Don’t leave cash in your vehicle after leaving a bank or ATM.
- When leaving a bank, try to conceal your cash or bank bag.
- Pay attention to people who are watching your transactions and to vehicles following you.
- Never leave your windows open.
- Park in well-lit, public areas.
- Install an audible alarm system on your vehicle.
"Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings. These suspects are counting on you being distracted," the Sheriff's Office said.
Authorities did not provide data on how many bank jugging robberies have occurred recently in Thousand Oaks.
It is unclear if the same suspect or group of suspects were involved in the robberies.
Authorities asked residents to report any suspicious activity to the Thousand Oaks Police Department by calling 805-654-9511 or 911.