It’s not just banks anymore. It’s ATMs now, with ATM “cash and grab” crime on the rise.

Last Friday, robbers in Anne Arundel County almost grabbed an entire ATM. It held cash with five figures. The Tuesday before, two men were imprisoned in Washington, DC, for beating a loader. The loader is the guy who loads the machine.

One robber told Vice how he did it.

Location and loader are important. Look for a machine that’s clear of a sidewalk and other objects. You’re going to ram-raid the door next to the cash machine with your vehicle, and you want a clear getaway.

Choose an ATM where the loader is alone, doesn’t come with his cash-courier. You also want to find out whether or not the bank stains its notes. You don’t want your hands covered in ink.

Days before the attack, raiders exercise as hard as any Marine, in case they have to scram, and to deal with the stress. They spend days, if not weeks, monitoring ATMs to learn the routes and schedules of the loaders. Two raiders stay in their cars while another two patrol the streets for cops. They communicate with pay-as-you-go SIM cards.

D-Day, raiders use vehicles like sports cars or trucks and battering rams. They have one final meeting, drive to a secluded spot away from surveillance cameras and use a timer for the get-go.

The actual heist is super-fast. Raiders capture the loader, ram the door, run into the little room, snap the cash – and away.

That’s their story.

Your takeaways?

Unless you want to be caught in an attack – and people working or shopping in the area may be struck by heedless crash-and-grab crews – look for ATMs with the following:

  • Machines that are close to sidewalks or buildings.
  • Machines in well-lit areas.
  • ATMs in busy, populated places (rather than in quiet rural or suburban regions).
  • ATMs that sit just inside the doors or front window of a store for easy customer access; these provide easy criminal access, too.
  • ATMs in retail locations. Most ATM thefts occur in these areas, according to ATM Marketplace.

Only problem: Once you strike each of these ATMs off your list, you’re left with scarce machines for withdrawing money.

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