Seven-Member Gang Apprehended and Charged in NYC for ATM Thefts Totaling over $1 Million in Cash
An 81-count state criminal indictment was recently filed in NYC against seven named co-defendants for conspiracy, grand larceny, third-degree burglary and other crimes, in a comprehensive scheme from 2017 through 2019 to steal cash from ATM operators/cash loaders in the greater NYC metro area. Two co-conspirators remain at large, while five others named in the indictment were arraigned last week.
The ATM-related thievery involved multiple robberies and burglaries, extending over a year and a half period, with “takes” ranging from $3K to almost $500K. The criminals targeted various ATM field personnel/vehicles, while in possession of cash for loading into ATM terminals. The elaborate criminal enterprise involved extensive surveillance of ATM cash pick-up locations, loading routes and schedules, while using multiple surveillance vehicles/drivers, lookouts, and other operatives to successfully carry out the crimes.
A common scheme used by this gang was to release air from one of the tires on the courier’s vehicle, then forcefully grab the cash when the courier stopped at a gas station to put air in the tire. A second conspirator’s vehicle was often used to obstruct view of the target vehicle, with a third vehicle used as a getaway car for the cash.
Other thefts were committed by breaking windows of parked locked vehicles’ and stealing the cash inside, or simply stealing it from an unlocked vehicle while the courier was inside servicing the ATM machine. Here too, second/third vehicles were used to block view of the theft and effectuate the getaway. The gang often situated their group of vehicles in a perimeter around the courier’s known route, communicating and coordinating by cell phone during surveillance and commission of the crime.
One particularly brazen theft occurred when a courier was followed home and his vehicle was stolen with cash inside while the courier had stepped out to open the garage door. Several blocks away, the stolen car was abandoned, and the cash/driver quickly transferred to a different getaway vehicle.
Two of the arrested co-conspirators remain in custody, based upon earlier unrelated charges. The other three captured conspirators were, distressingly, scheduled to be released on their own recognizance under a new NY state law restricting use of bail. Media reports indicated that Judge Riviezzo, presiding over the arraignment, said that while she was required by law to release the defendants, they would be subject to a set of strict supervisory release conditions.
Unfortunately, as we know all too well, those who make cash available to the public in America must remain ever vigilant against criminals who are always looking for new ways to steal ATM cash. Please be on guard and alert for similar “copycat” coordinated ATM cash robbery schemes appearing elsewhere in the country – and let us know if you experience such a crime/MO.
Knowledge and awareness are vital to keeping safe in the field – please promptly let NAC know of any ATM crime incidents you encounter/become aware of – so we can continue serving as a national information clearinghouse and resource for the industry and law enforcement.
Thank You for Your NAC Membership – your ongoing support is sincerely valued and appreciated – we couldn’t do what we do for our industry without YOU!
Sincere thanks and appreciation go out to the NYPD and the NY State Attorney’s Office, for the awesome work done in taking down this awful gang. On behalf of the industry, NAC would also like to thank Jim Shrayef, General Manager of Everything ATM & POS, Danny Frank, leading NYC based governmental affairs representative/consultant, Abe Ayesh, President of ATM World, Clifford Jordan, President of Rapid Armored Corp., and George Sarantopoulos, President/CEO of Access One ATM / Access One Solutions & NAC Board Chair, for their diligent efforts and cooperation in facilitating this indictment/capture.