ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- The Odessa Police Department is asking the community to stay alert amid an alarming trend known as “bank jugging”. Bank Jugging occurs when suspects watch as customers exit a bank or drive-thru ATM and then follow the customers to burglarize or rob them of their cash.

Here is what bank customers can do to make sure they don’t become a victim:

-Watch for people backed into parking spaces, who do not exit their vehicle to conduct business.

-Be vigilant when using ATMs or leaving a bank branch. Be aware of your surroundings and don’t leave your car or the building if you observe suspicious vehicles parked in or around the parking lot.

-Conceal your money before you leave the bank or credit union.

-Don’t openly carry bank bags, envelopes or coin boxes.

-Watch for people following you.

-If you think you are being targeted or followed, call 911 and keep the dispatcher on the line to describe your location and where you are headed. Keep driving until a marked police car finds you.

-Don’t leave a bank bag (hidden or not) in your car unattended.

-Make banking your last stop when running errands.