Masked ATM bandit begs question: How to stay safe while getting quick cash
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Apr. 23, 2013 - UPDATED: Apr. 24, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A local woman lived through some scary moments at a drive up ATM, when a man with a Halloween style mask tried to rob her at knifepoint.
Local authorities say crime like that is more of a big city problem, but one local self defense expert we spoke with says, he doesn't care.
He says no matter where you live, being alert can save your life.
It's true, his tactics are unique.
"Out of the darkness, this individual appears," explained Deputy Tom Peine.
Pima County authorities say last month's late night, attempted armed robbery at a Thornydale & Linda Vista ATM, is a rarity in Tucson.
But 9OYS found similar stories in several states, including Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
That's not surprising says Jeffrey Prather, founder of Tucson's Warrior School.
"Ladies in general are now aware, they shouldn't be walking out to their car from the store at 10 p.m. at night, but they think nothing of driving to an atm in the middle of the night by themselves," he said.
And many drive-up ATM's he says, are breeding grounds for sitting ducks.
So, 9OYS put his advice to the test.
First up, Commerce Bank near Broadway and Alvernon, where Prather points out a playground of hiding places.
"The bushes right there, the pillars, the shadows," he said.
In essence, it's a predator's paradise.
Next, we moved on to ATM # 2, a Wells Fargo near Craycroft and 22nd.
There, the bushes and walls are farther away, which is better, says Prather.
"There's a not more distance," he said. "Distance equals time, equals survivability."
And finally, we drove to ATM #3.
It's also a Wells Fargo near Broadway and Swan.
Prather points out, the ATM is open on all sides and near a major street.
He says this is the best yet.
"This is much better. Much more difficult for people to close in," he said.
So to sum up, he says the more you can to scope out your surroundings, the better.
That's especially true, he says, since you never know who, or what, may be looking for you.