8 Steps to Prevent, Minimize or Recover From ATM Vandalism

April 26, 2016

Criminals vandalize ATMs in all sorts of places for all sorts of reasons, and you might be surprised that not all of them involve an attempt to steal money.

In Michigan, a man smashed screens of 10 machines at areas on the fringe of town over a two-month period, and spray painted anarchy symbols on them.

Someone with a crowbar decided to try to remove the face of an ATM in Montana, then gave up and used it as batting practice.

And in China, a man attempting to make a withdrawal from an ATM discovered he had no money in his account. He took out his frustration by pouring a soda into the machine.

No one was able to steal a single dollar from these ATMs, but they caused thousands of dollars of damage.

Preventing every act of mayhem might be an impossible task, but following these eight tips will greatly improve your chances of protecting your facility, lessen your expenses in the case of an incident, and minimize the chances of recurrence.

• Locate your ATMs in as visible a place as possible.

• Install security cameras in a spot that provides maximum range of vision, and regularly check their functionality.

• Provide abundant lighting as a deterrent, but also to improve the quality of the recording on surveillance cameras.

• Inquire with J&P Site Experts about having one of our technicians apply a special graffiti-resistant coating that prevents paint from adhering to the machine’s surface.

• Watch for suspicious behavior near the ATM — either in person or on surveillance recordings. Criminals might case the financial institution to survey the scene of their crime, or make an initial, experimental attempt to deface a machine.

• Remove marker, paint or other harmful markings as soon as possible to prevent them from setting into the ATM’s surfaces.

• Call police immediately after finding evidence of vandalized ATMs, and fill out a report. The documentation might not give them strong enough evidence to catch the crook instantly, but might tip his or her next move, and can be used later on in court.

• Identify, with the help of law enforcement, whether the defacing bears the signs of a one-time incident or could be a recurring target, as during a turf war between rival gangs.

Interested in learning how to better protect your ATM fleet? Contact J&P Site Experts by sending us a message or calling 262.346.8451 to act on these prevention and mitigation tips.