MPD is working with other DMV police department to handle the new rise of "jugging" robberies. Source: Flickr

Bank ‘Jugging’ Robberies: The DMV’s New Crime Problem

DMV becomes hotspot as armed robbers target bank customers; Police chief warns of regional threat in this ongoing investigation

1 min read

The Washington D.C. metropolitan area is grappling with a surge in “bank jugging” crimes, where armed robbers target bank customers rather than the bank tellers. This growing trend has put law enforcement on high alert across multiple jurisdictions.

Bowie Police Chief Dwayne Preston explained the tactic: “They’re targeting people and they’re coming up to them, armed in most cases with a handgun, and robbing them of those funds.” Criminals typically focus on individuals entering or exiting banks who appear to be carrying cash or valuables.

The issue extends beyond Bowie, affecting Prince George’s County and reaching as far as Annapolis, Maryland. A recent jugging incident in Annapolis led to a police chase that ended with two suspects dying in a crash in Southeast D.C. Despite this, criminal activity has persisted, with multiple banks in Bowie targeted in subsequent days.

Chief Preston noted the pattern: “What we’ve seen is that these things happen in succession. So it’s not occurring just here in Bowie. Generally, the same suspects have been hitting either banks in Anne Arundel County or other parts of Prince George’s County, but it’s the same suspects. And it appears to be more than one crew.”

The scope of the problem is significant. Anne Arundel County reported over 40 bank jugging cases across the region year-to-date. In Bowie alone, four such crimes occurred in a single week, prompting increased security measures, including armed guards at some banks.

Law enforcement agencies are collaborating to address this crime wave. They’ve observed that stolen vehicles are often used in these robberies, with Route 50 serving as a primary escape route back to D.C. Preston noted, “It appears that either the vehicles have been recovered in the District or in the case of the fatal accident, that ended in the District of Columbia. So there seems to be a connection with D.C. in terms of where the suspects may be coming from.”

Local residents have expressed concern about the rising threat. Jeffrey Leo, a Bowie resident, told DC News Now: “Even when I go through the teller machine outside there, the drive-thru, I always kind of look over my fenders and stuff and make sure nobody’s creeping out of the bushes.” 

To combat these crimes, authorities are issuing safety guidelines for bank customers. Chief Preston advises: “Pay attention to your surroundings… try not to visibly have cash or valuables in your hand. Some people are walking out with cash and envelopes and things like that, so it makes you an easier target.” He also recommends being alert for suspicious activities, such as parked vehicles with multiple occupants and suggests bringing a companion when visiting the bank if possible.

Leave a Reply