Daily, routine activities, such as going to the ATM or getting gas, may turn into crime scenes for little acts that cause huge difficulties and financial loss. Someone is looking at a bank or mall customer while their head is buried in their phone.
This a seemingly nice piece of advice to use a tap card at a glued-closed ATM. A phony good Samaritan claims you left your wallet at the gas station, or a cheerful, chatty person can’t quit complimenting your outfit. All of these are examples of street-level crime trends that prey on distracted victims to steal a purse, phone, or wallet. In most cases, they just need a few seconds.
According to Kevin Coffey, a travel risk trainer and consultant and a 35-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, these three criminal trends, known as “jugging,” “tap and glue,” and “sliders,” have been around for decades but have changed and taken on new shapes.
“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,” Coffey told Fox News Digital. “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.”
Let’s begin with jugging. Criminals would wait in malls, stores, and bank parking lots for their prey, who are usually distracted or fumbling with bags, according to Coffey. “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.” Coffey stated that the thieves “size people up” to see whether they are delusionary and how much property they have on them.
“One of the prime things is trying to get locations where there are no witnesses,” he said. “They want to strike without any witnesses and pick their spots, so they can’t be chased down or allow someone to get their description.”
A thief may follow a target home in extreme cases. It usually suggests the suspect is aware of their riches or has noticed an expensive piece of jewelry, such as a Rolex. “Those are sophisticated thieves and tend to be more violent,” Coffey said. “Those are the ones you have to be diligent of.”