“Jugging or Sliding? I don’t even know what that is!”
Well read on friends, to some very excellent advice from Sergeant Donald Wine of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office:
“Burglary of a Motor Vehicle
I wanted to address car burglaries this week.
The troubling thing is many involve vehicles which were left unlocked when they were entered. (Remember my earlier post “Lock It”)
There have been unlocked vehicles with purses, guns, cell phones, cash, and other valuables left inside. Many suspects enter an area specifically to check for vehicles parked in the street and on driveways which are left unlocked. They bring no typical burglary tools to avoid suspicion if encountered by law enforcement. A vehicle will often drop these suspects off at the end of a block and pick them up on the other end to allow them to drop off any stolen items.
A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, he breaks into or enters a vehicle or any part of a vehicle with intent to commit any felony or theft. Entry is considered any part of the suspects body, or any physical object connected to the body (such as a screw driver, crow bar, etc.).
Car burglaries can happen anywhere, and at any time of the day. The best place to keep valuables is on your person. A thief will typically not take the risk to enter a vehicle where no item of interest is in plain view to them. Briefcases, laptop computer cases, purses, and bags are easily seen in a window and will draw the interest of a thief. They will access your vehicle by first checking the doors in most cases, and resort to either breaking the window or punching the door lock to gain access.
The whole process can take less than 30 seconds, so there is little time for a witness to call police and report the theft before the suspect is able to flee the scene.
If you must leave valuable items in a vehicle, it is best to lock them in the trunk PRIOR to going to a public place and parking. These suspects will watch people parking, getting out, and placing items in the trunk. They will then simply force entry into your car, press the trunk release button or lever, and get your item out of your trunk.
I would also like to touch on two offenses which have been increasing in the past few years, and have been profiled on the news recently. They are called “JUGGING” and “SLIDING”.
A jugging is when a suspect or suspects watches a bank or ATM from a distance, usually in the same parking lot or an adjacent parking lot. They look for a victim to exit the bank with the standard bank envelope in their hand. The victim may be unaware of their surroundings and counting the money, or they may be overly guarded, looking around as they walk to their vehicle. Both of these type of victims will draw the attention of the juggers, and they will follow the victim as they drive away from the bank or ATM. They will follow the victim to their next location and wait for them to vacate their vehicle. They will then break into the vehicle and steal the money envelope. In some cases, they will confront the victim directly and rob them of the money. Many victims have lost thousands of dollars to these thieves.
A sliding theft occurs most of the time at a gas station, but could also happen at a drive thru restaurant, pharmacy, or other location where the drivers attention is focused elsewhere. Sliders primarily target women who are alone in their vehicle and getting gas. They will watch gas stations and when the victim exits and conducts business at the pump, the suspect vehicle will pull up to the other side of the vehicle, enter it, and steal the victims purse, cell phone, or other valuable property in their immediate reach. Sliders know most women will only take their credit card out to fuel the vehicle, and leave their wallet and/or purse in the vehicle.
Both of these crimes are property crimes, but can turn dangerous if the victim reacts to the crime or attempts to thwart it after it is in progress.
The best advice for both is to keep valuables on your person at all times. Be aware of your surroundings, and be on the lookout for suspicious looking persons who are watching you as you conduct business. If you have that hair raising on the back of your neck feeling, leave the premises and go elsewhere to get fuel. If you think you are being followed from the bank, call 911 and advise dispatchers of your location, and keep driving until an officer is able to intercept the suspect. If you know where your local police station is, drive to that parking lot where patrol vehicles are, or flag down a unit on patrol.
NEVER drive home if you think you are being followed. Your safety is the most important thing; items can be replaced, your life cannot. (Emphasis mine)
Thanks and have a safe week.
Sergeant Donald Wine”
If you have comments or questions, I welcome them. Just write them in the space below.