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The Austin Police Department (APD) is warning of a new robbery and crime trend called “jugging” in which suspects follow victims after they leave a bank or ATM.
“There, they are approached, threatened with violence, or assaulted while the suspect demands the money or aggressively takes the cash bag,” APD said in a Friday statement posted to Facebook. “This crime happens when cash bags are visible as the victim leaves the bank or ATM.”
Over the last year, APD has counted at least 62 juggings at Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Chase bank locations.
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APD is warning Austin residents to be aware of their surroundings and “try not to be distracted” while going to banks or ATMs; notice vehicles that may be following them; secure cash in a purse, briefcase or other bags before leaving a financial institution; lock car doors; and call 911 or drive to a police station if they believe someone may be following them.
The robbery trend is happening in other cities, too.
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On Monday, Nashville police arrested 30-year-old Houston rapper Ladesion Riley, also known as “213 Jug God” — a reference to jugging — after an alleged heist, along with Darius Dugas, 27; Sashondre Dugas, 32; and Christopher Alton, 27. The group allegedly attempted to rob an ATM technician servicing a Bank of America after checking out of a motel in Dickson, Tennessee, according to the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
Authorities found wads of cash in the groups’ vehicles parked at the Motel 6 where they had been staying, as FOX 26 Houston first reported.
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Two of the suspects were out of jail on felony bonds and have been arrested several times. Riley has a pending evading arrest in a motor vehicle charge, the Houston Police Officers’ Union said.
Riley recently shared a video on YouTube called “Make it Home” in which he raps about robbing money machines outside of Texas. He sang about having thousands of dollars in a vehicle and praying to come home, according to FOX Houston.
Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report.