‘I think that figure will grow exponentially’: Clark Co. detective warns public about rash of ATM thefts

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office needs the public’s help in identifying a group of people who stole tens of thousands of dollars from ATMs in Clark and Champaign counties.

Detective Scott Cultice with the sheriff’s office said at least five people are involved in an organized effort to steal from bank customers. He said the group placed credit card skimmers on banks in Madison and Delaware Counties around Oct. 15.

They then took customers’ information, made hundreds of fraudulent cards and stole money from those people at International Harvester Credit Union ATMs in Clark and Champaign counties during the last weekend in October.

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“It wasn’t their first time, you could tell — they knew what they were doing and knew what to look out for,” Cultice said. “There’s probably several others involved because it takes a lot to sit at an ATM and surveillance wise for them — to see if anybody’s coming.”

He said IHCU ATMs on West First Street, West High Street and Urbana Road were hit — with Urbana Road suffering the most loss. At that location, the suspects drained the ATM for almost three hours.

Cultice said surveillance video from the bank shows the suspects lingering at the ATM. If someone pulled up behind them, they would leave and come back to the machine once the customer was gone.

Cultice said the group made off with tens of thousands of dollars — so far.

“I think that figure will grow exponentially,” he said.

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The whole operation was extremely organized, down to the vehicle the suspects were driving. Cultice said his office has been checking with rental agencies and it appears the group rented new sport utility vehicles out of state and brought them into the county to commit the crimes.

“We just need this to stop because it’s somebody’s money that they’re taking out — the bank’s and their customers,” he said.

IH Credit Union said none of its members accounts or cards were compromised as a result of the crime, said Tiffany Looney, marketing director for IH Credit Union.

“We are fully insured to cover this loss. This type of fraud is impossible to safe guard against 100 percent, however since this incident we have taken additional steps toward making our ATM’s more secure,” Looney said.

Cultice said it’s important to report any suspicious activity you may see at ATMs to law enforcement, especially during the holiday season.

As this investigation is going on, Englewood police are also looking for a man who stole $100,000 from various Huntington Bank ATMs in the Dayton area.

Englewood police said that man used over 80 skimmed card numbers to withdraw the money.

As of Monday evening, none of the suspects had been identified or charged. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is working with other local, state and federal law enforcement in the case. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Clark County Sheriff’s Office at (937) 521-2050.

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