“Jugging” “Sliders” and “Tap and Glue” Street Crime Trends Finds Victims Robbed in Seconds

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Robbery
Jugging” involves criminals lying in wait in the parking lots of stores, malls, and banks while looking for someone who is carrying pricey items and who is not paying attention to their surroundings, Coffey said.  Image credit: Houston Police Dept./Local News X/TMX/FoxNews.

LOS ANGELES, CA – Street criminals are resurrecting some old tricks for a new era that have unfortunately proven extraordinarily effective in distracting victims and setting them up to be robbed of their valuables in scant seconds, sometimes resulting in serious injuries to law abiding citizens in the process. 

The new crime trends – known as “jugging,” “tap and glue” and “sliders” – Have been around for decades and have evolved over time, both but have seen a recent major uptick in their use with disastrous results, according to Kevin Coffey, a travel risk trainer and 35-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. 

“What’s old is new. It’s like pickpockets. They’ve been around forever, but they’re coming up with new ways to be able to engage folks to steal property,” he said. “Most of them want an easy way to grab a purse, a wallet or a phone. They don’t want to engage in violence. They want to grab something and run.” 

Jugging” involves criminals lying in wait in the parking lots of stores, malls, and banks while looking for someone who is carrying pricey items and who is not paying attention to their surroundings, Coffey said. 

“The thieves look for people who have items on them,” he said. “It’s not just the elderly. They’re now looking for people who are younger who maybe came out of a high-end purse store or just bought an iPhone. Everyone is a prime victim today when they have something of value.” 

Crooks will wait until the victim gets to an area where there are no witnesses and then immediately pounce on them, grab their items, and take off; if an opportunity does not present itself at the time, the perpetrator often follows the victim to another location – sometimes even their home – and will attempt to carry out the heist there. 

One instance of “juggingleft a Houston woman paralyzed in February after she was body slammed following making a bank withdrawal; the two the two suspects were quickly located and placed under arrest. 

Tap and glue” involves jamming an ATM card reader with glue or cardboard; a crook, posing as a customer, tells the victim about the obstruction and suggests that they use the “tap” feature on their bank card instead. In these instances, many individuals forget to log out of their account after tapping, allowing the scammer to swoop in and withdraw money from their account afterwards. 

“If you get your cash and leave without ending the transaction, the thief that’s using the ATM next to you and pretending to be a regular customer shifts over to your ATM when your back is turned, withdraws the max and disappears,” Coffey said.   

Sliders” most often take place at gas stations, according to Coffey, and represents another illicit technique that allows criminals to take advantage of a distracted victim, typically women in this case. 

“A woman pulls up to the gas pump, sometimes she has her credit card out of her wallet, and the purse is on the passenger seat and her back is to the car,” he said. “She didn’t hit the lock button, so the passenger door is unlocked.” 

In these instances, a crook gets into the victim’s car through the driver’s side door and “slides” to the passenger seat, grabs the victim’s purse, and makes good their escape. 

“They select their victims typically on the outside pumps to make a quick getaway,” Coffey said. “It’s always important to keep your head on a swivel and hit the lock button. It takes just a second of turning your head.” 

The best defense in all of these scenarios, Coffey said, is to simply always be aware of your surroundings when you’re out in public. 

“It’s situational awareness. Whenever someone approaches, be asking yourself why? Why are they engaging me? Are they trying to divert attention to pickpocket me or do they actually want to have a conversation?” he said. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the suspect is right on their heels. A quick glance over your shoulder is good to see who’s around you.” 

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