Bank jugging describes the actions of a person who watches people entering and leaving banks. When the person suspects that an individual has left the institution with cash on them, they follow them to their next location. The jugger then either takes the money by force or breaks into the individual's car to get the unattended cash.
Is Bank Jugging Illegal?
The term "bank jugging" isn't one that's defined by Texas law. However, that doesn't mean that a person who engages in such conduct is not committing an offense. The underlying actions involved in jugging are prohibited. A person accused of bank jugging may be charged with a theft offense, such as robbery or burglary of motor vehicles.
What Is Robbery?
Under Texas Penal Code 29.02, robbery is defined as committing theft by knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally causing injury or threatening to cause injury to another person. What that means in terms of bank jugging is that if a person follows a customer out of a bank and demands that they hand over the cash or they will hurt them, the jugger is committing a robbery, which is a second-degree felony.
If the person is convicted of robbing the bank patron, they could face a prison sentence between 2 and 20 years. Additionally, they could also be fined up to $10,000.
However, let's say the jugger pulled a gun out when demanding that the bank patron give them the cash. Because they have exhibited a deadly weapon, the offense becomes aggravated robbery. This crime is a first-degree felony, and a conviction carries with it a prison term of up to 99 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
What Is Burglary of a Motor Vehicle?
Suppose instead of following the bank patron and demanding the cash, the jugger waits until the person leaves the money unattended in their vehicle. The jugger then breaks into the car and takes the money. This conduct is what is known as burglary of a motor vehicle. Texas Penal Code 30.04 defines this offense as entering into any part of a vehicle without the owner's consent to commit any felony or theft.
Generally, burglary of vehicles is a class A misdemeanor. If a person is convicted of this offense, they could spend up to 1 year in jail and be fined up to $4,000. In some cases, burglary of a vehicle can be charged as a state jail felony. This occurs when the person has been previously convicted of this offense two or more times.
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