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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Arlington are on the hunt for suspects after what they’re calling a spike in the crime known as ‘jugging’. Jugging is when thieves sit in parking lots near banks or ATMs and target people who they believe have withdrawn cash.

To guard against becoming a victim, police say you shouldn’t leave an establishment with any money, in cash, a bank bag or envelope, in plain sight. Once inside your vehicle hide the cash and lock your doors.

From August to October, Arlington police have had 26 jugging cases. They’re not considered crimes of opportunity, but instead part of a larger network of criminals watching, waiting, and pouncing.

Jugging isn’t just happening near banks. Often criminals will follow victims after they’ve gotten cash and steal the money when they get out of the car at another stop.

Surveillance video from a Quik Trip in Arlington shows suspects pulling in near a gas pump. When the victim walks into the convenience store, the suspect goes to the victim’s car, grabs money out, and drives off. The crime is over in just a few seconds.

Sergeant VaNessa Harrison, with the Arlington Police Department, explained criminals know exactly what to look for. “People who have the white envelope from personal transactions and also the money bag from business transactions. It’s a pretty common crime, because you never really see the suspects. People don’t suspect that they are being followed.”

Arlington police have made some arrests in the last few weeks, but officials still say you should pay close attention to your surroundings and any vehicles lingering near the ATM or in front of the bank.

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