Think Fast: What to do if you get robbed at an ATM

Think Fast: What to do if you get robbed at an ATM

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's something you probably do quite often: Grab some cash at the ATM.

But how and when you do it, could be the difference between a full or drained account or even life or death.

Toledo Police said people get robbed at an ATM more often than you think. So, think fast-what would you do?

"We just try to get people to think before you do something," Officer Melissa Stephens said.

She advises to widen your wallet during the day.

"I would definitely say that at nighttime you're more vulnerable. It's dark, there's a lot of hiding spaces where people can go and the bad guy already knows what he's going to do so he's picked out his spot where he's going to hide," Stephens said.

If it's a walk-up ATM, do not leave your car running. Also not leave your kids in the car, and do not leave your purse or any valuables in the front passenger seat.

If it's a drive thru ATM, keep your doors locked.

"Just think, 'I got to be aware of my surroundings. I have to look and see if I see anything suspicious,'" Stephens said.

Now if you forget to lock your doors, when you look away to get at your money, someone might be able to sneak up the side, open the passenger door and slip in.

"If you think you can drive away, then I suggest you drive away, maybe try to get that person off of your vehicle," Stephens said.

You can also use the panic button on your keys. But remember safety before money so if you are not sure they have a weapon, then assume they do.

"So you play by that. Whatever that person says just do that," Stephens said. "We want you to be safe. We want you to go home. If they ask for your pin number, just give them everything that they ask for."

Stay alert during the confrontation. Stephens said to look for marks, scars, tattoos, or anything that would help police find the criminal.

Once safe, call 9-1-1 immediately and give them a description of the thief. When officers arrive, then you can call your bank and work on getting the card canceled.

"You'll have to deal with that later. Right now, what's important is your safety and getting home to your family," Stephens said.

You can't put a value on you or your loved one's life.

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