MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The robbery of a man in front of his three children in west Mobile is turning the spotlight on safety at automated teller machines.
The victim believed the robber may have followed him home from an ATM where he deposited money Wednesday night.
The victim didn't want to be identified, but he said the ATM was at a Wells Fargo Bank at Airport Boulevard and Cody Road.
He said, "I do think that they followed me home from the bank. They watched me go to the ATM, where I made a deposit, didn't get cash back, and followed me back to my house."
FIRST THINGS FIRST
The first safety tip police will tell you is, be aware of your surroundings.
Corporal Christopher Levy with the Mobile Police Department said, "Just scout the parking lot out before you go to the ATM machine. If there's any suspicious vehicles in there, or people hanging out in the parking lot, wait until they leave, or go to another location."
DRIVING OR WALKING?
Police said if you're in a car don't get stuck between other cars. If you're walking, they said get on your cell phone.
Levy said a potential robber will "acknowledge the fact that you're speaking with someone on the phone, and that substantially raises their chances of getting caught, which also lessens your chances of being a victim."
DOING YOUR HOMEWORK
Another tip: keep a supply of deposit envelopes in your car or home. Don't fill out your transaction paperwork at the ATM itself; do it ahead of time.
WATCH YOUR APPERANCE
Experts said don't wear expensive jewelry or take other valuable to the ATM. They said it's just an added incentive to robbers.
GO IN A STORE
You can also go inside a store or police station that has an ATM.
Levy said, "They have police stations that also have ATM machines. We have one at the lobby here. Theres also one in the lobby of third precinct you can go to."
Police headquarters is located at 2460 Government Street. Third Precinct also has one at 2165 St. Stephens Road.
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