Money Grabbers: How Hard is it to Open an ATM?

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ARLINGTON — It was as smash and grab “D’oh!” Thieves rammed their pickup through the window of a Quik Mart in Arlington, trying to steal its ATM, but they couldn’t get it out from all of the twisted metal it was piled under.

It’s the latest in a string of successful and not so successful ATM robberies in DFW.

“They are what we call ‘ram raids’ in the industry,” said Curt Selman, President of  Selman ATM. “They are the most blunt force, non-technologically advanced robberies that we have.”

ATMs are clearly a tempting target for thieves, but the loot inside might not be quite what they were expecting.

“At best it’s $5,000, but most times much less than that,” Selman said. “I would put the over under at $2,000. I would say that is much less than they expect.”

If the bad guys are successful like a recent “ram raid” in Oak Cliff, getting the ATM open can be difficult but not impossible.

“Given enough time and the right tools anyone could eventually get any ATM open,” Selman said.

So, is there a way for folks to protect their ATMs from the bad guys?

“It’s all about where you place your ATM inside a store,” said Selman. “And whether you protect your store with bumper posts out front.”

Right next to the window — bad idea.  In the back of the store next to the peanuts — better!

Throw in a few concrete posts and a lot more crooks will be leaving empty handed.


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