A PROFESSIONAL gang of criminals have been arrested by police following a spate of thefts from ATM machines (hole in the wall, cash machines). Police sources have suggested that the arrested had managed to take € 2,420 through 19 illegal “extractions”.
The technique involves installing a metal plate over the front of part of the ATM machine, that physically prevented cash being given out. This method of theft is called “cash trapping,” so those who were trying to take out cash simply thought the machine was not working, whereas in fact the cash they had requested was sitting behind the installed metal plate awaiting collection by the thieves.
When the frustrated person left, the thieves came, removed the plate, and helped themselves to the person’s money.
The sites where these crimes occurred were Torrevieja, Pilar de la Horadada, Almoradi and Calpe, although at the moment the Guardia Civil have not ruled out other locations, and believe the gang’s operations may even have stretched into
When arrested the thieves were in possession of pliers, metal plates, glue, putty, and all essential tools for the installation of the system. This arrest highlights that it is worth checking ATM machines before inserting your card, for signs that it has been tampered with.
The metal plate or “cash trapping” technique is the most basic, but there are other more sophisticated devices place over the ATM machine where the card is actually read by a bar code reader installed by a thief, and this can lead to them extracting as much money as you may have available on that card.