TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa police are searching for a man they say followed another man from the Bank of America located at 9385 N. 56th St. in Tampa and stole jewelry he just retrieved from a safety deposit box.
According to police, a widower had stopped at the bank to remove his wife’s jewelry from his safety deposit box in preparation for his daughter’s upcoming wedding.
Police said the man drove to an Amscot and then to the area of N. 18th St and E. 24th Ave., where he parked his vehicle for a short time.
When he returned to his car, he found the door lock had been punched, the trunk opened, and the jewelry stolen, according to police.
The subject in the video was recorded on camera at the Bank of America at the same time as the victim, according to police.
Police said the suspect appears to have followed the victim to the Amscot immediately after, where he was again recorded.
Detectives are very interested in speaking with him.
Police said this type of crime is known as “bank jugging". They say a suspect sits in a parking lot and watches customers go in and out of a bank.
The suspect then follows the customers they believe are in possession of cash or expensive items and look for an opportunity to burglarize their vehicles. These criminals frequently target customers carrying bank bags, bank envelopes, and coin boxes.
Most "jugging" burglary of motor vehicles occur at a retail or commercial business the customer stops at after leaving the bank.
To avoid being “jugged,” police recommend:
-Being aware of your surroundings
-Concealing money before leaving the bank
-Not openly carry bank bags, envelopes, or coin boxes
-Being aware of anyone following you from the area of a bank
-Never leaving, or try to hide, your bank bag or bank envelope in your vehicle at your next destination, even if it's your residence
-Calling 911 from your cell phone if you think you are being followed and keeping the dispatcher informed of your location, the direction you are traveling, and drive toward the nearest police station until marked police cars are able to locate you.