Katherine was a 19 year old freshman at large university out west. She was a busy young person who wanted to become an engineer when she graduated. She worked partime in an establishment near campus to take care of her extra expenses. She routinely withdrew extra cash from an ATM machine near the college campus.
There were usually other students near the machine checking on their finances. She heard that ATMs in the area were dangerous for people withdrawing money. There was always news of a robbery or assault nearby. She thought to herself, it only takes a few minutes to withdraw money so what could happen.
One day after class she decided to have a relaxing dinner to unwind. So she drove to the ATM to withdraw some money. She parked park in the lot and started walking toward the ATM. As she approached, she saw what looked like 5 young men standing in line at the ATM. She thought great a bunch of students and I am in a hurry. It was a little weird to see 5 guys and no girls but they seemed harmless so, she walked up to the line.
When she reached the line, the guy in front offered to let her go before him since he had to check on some other stuff which would take a while. She did not feel anything was wrong with that in fact she was flattered. She got to the machine and withdrew her money and started to leave.
At that time, the other guys the surrounded her and she knew something was wrong. They demanded the money and her card. She did not see any weapons so she tried to reason with them. Then one pull out a knife and demanded it again. She knew the time for reasoning had passed.
She complied, but she had a feeling they were after more than money. She screamed for help as loud as she could and a local business owner came to see what was wrong. The punks ran off with her card and money. She later found out that there was a gang operating in the area that brutalized another young lady a few days earlier.
Automatic Teller Machines serve a great convenience. But they are among the most dangerous place to get that badly needed cash. Thugs stake out these machines waiting for unsuspecting victims. Most large establishments contain ATM machines but people still insist on using the ones in secluded areas. Sometimes out of necessity but most of the time out convenience.
Location is probably the most important safety feature of an ATM. If you must use an ATM use one in or near a business. If you use one outside choose one with good visibility on all sides. If you pull into the parking lot of an ATM and something looks or feels wrong find a new one. People who become victims at ATMs always feel something is wrong but they ignore that feeling.
Make your business quick at ATMs do not hang around reading receipts and other paperwork. Take notice of your surroundings, the people in front and back of you. You should rarely have a need to go to and ATM machine at night. If you do, realize that the odds of something happening at night are significantly increased. Sometimes you must ATMs but you should always be aware of your surroundings.