Police Warn of Cabdriver Who Steals ATM Cards - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/19/06

Police Warn of Cabdriver Who Steals ATM Cards

Do you know where your ATM card is? A Hinesville man found out where his was--in a cabdriver's pocketbook. According to police, she used the card and went on a little late-night shopping spree.

It all happened early Saturday morning. One stop at an ATM was all it took for the man's debit card to get swiped. The next day, he had a bunch of extra charges and no card.

Savannah-Chatham police say the woman in this image from security video, taken Saturday morning, April 15, rang up $2,500 worth of debit card charges at late-night stores, including a Super Wal-Mart on Highway 17.

"She had the PIN, the card and the cash, and went to all-night grocery stores and loaded up her basket," said Det. Billy Ray with the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department.

Det. Ray says her plan was simple: she was a cabdriver taking advantage of an intoxicated customer and a late-night pit stop at the ATM.

Her scam starts like this. She takes the card from the customer at a drive-through ATM, he gives her his PIN and she memorizes it. If he asked for $20, she takes out $100 and gives him $20 back, holding onto the rest of the cash and the ATM card if he doesn't ask for the card back. Then she goes on a little shopping spree.

"She can try that ten times in one night, but it takes one stupid one," said Det. Ray.

He thinks the same woman pulled off two other similar ATM card thefts in the last year and a half. Catching her will be tough. She's a gypsy cabdriver.

"We don't have her on file with any government agencies regulating drivers," said Det. Ray. "None of the companies know her. None of the cabdrivers know her."

Det. Ray warns, next time keep your PIN to yourself. "We do encourage taking a cab if you have too much to drink, but be careful who you get in the car with."

If you recognize the woman in the video or have any information which could help police, call the Financial Crimes Unit at 651.6735 or CrimeStoppers at 234.2020.

Police say she was last seen driving a yellow-colored taxicab.

And keep those PINs private. Make sure no one is peering over your shoulder when you use an ATM.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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