HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With "juggings" on the rise, law enforcement has tips about the sneaky ways criminals hide to keep an eye on their victims.
Police say you should watch for these key things before heading into the bank, including car windshield sunshades.
It's terrifying and often violent. Criminals target people who are leaving banks and follow them to eventually snatch their cash. It's called "jugging," and it's on the rise in the Houston area and across the country.
ABC13 spoke with a Houston Police Department lieutenant who said when you pull up to the bank, you should always scan the parking lot for clues that a criminal is lurking.
"The first thing that I'm going to do is, I'm going to pull in and I'm going to look to see if there are any vehicles that are backed- in," said Lt. T. Jefferson.
ABC13 Anchor Samica Knight asked why customers should pay close attention to backed-in vehicles.
"A jugger doesn't have time to back out, to get back up and then to follow," she said. "Their goal is to never take their eyes off that vehicle."
Police say you should also watch for vehicles with dark, tinted windows, and look to see if there are passengers inside the vehicle who haven't gotten out.
Jefferson pointed out a rather unsuspecting clue that a jugger may be casing your bank -- a windshield sunshade.
According to police, a sunshade can be used to fool you into thinking no one is in the vehicle and no one is watching you.
"There are spaces that you can cut out, an area where I can actually look," Jefferson said. "Again, it is a thief's job to be clever, to come up with something someone hasn't thought of."