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NYC Women On Edge After Pair Of ATM Muggings

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NYPD Photo

NYPD Photo

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — In the city that never sleeps, detectives were investigating a pair of robberies at ATMs in busy locations in broad daylight. And now they have an image of someone to work with.

Walk up to the ATM, input your secret code, and wait for the cash. Stella Lillig said she’s so accustomed to the routine, she doesn’t think twice about the possibility of it ending badly. “I just come and need money. I don’t even think about it.”

“It kind of worries me that you can get robbed at the ATM machine. There’s cameras right there,” said Manuela Middleton of the Bronx.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports

CBS 2’s Jay Dow reports police said the first robbery took place on Sept. 3 around 1 p.m. at a Citibank location in Columbus Circle, then again, a week later, at a Chase ATM on West 23rd Street at mid-morning.

Detectives said in both cases, a woman was approached from behind by the same man, whose image was captured on the ATM’s security camera.

The suspect allegedly pointed what he claimed was a gun and demanded cash.

“I’m scared, because it’s busy,” said Carmen Carban of Harlem. “It’s not late at night.”

Many women said they were aware of standard operating procedure for ATM safety. “Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure all of your personal belongings are close to you,” said Jennifer May of Brooklyn.

Most ATMs are equipped not just with a security camera, but also with a mirror so you can keep an eye on who’s standing behind you while you’re conducting you’re business.

“People are going to have to think a little differently,” said security expert Bob Strang. But those security measures can’t stop a robbery and one Queens resident said if someone was pointing a weapon at her, she wouldn’t try to either.

Nevertheless, one customer said what’s important was escaping this kind of encounter safely. “I wouldn’t blame myself at all for doing the same thing she did, and not feeling guilty about it, because I would never put myself at risk like that. You want it? Take it,” said Laura Conahan, of Queens.

“I’m scared, because it’s busy,” said Carmen Carban of Harlem. “It’s not late at night.”

Both victims were not injured.

One Manhattan resident told Dow she often takes her safety for granted while getting cash at the ATM.

“I just come and need money. I don’t even think about it,” Stella Lillig said.

Said security expert Bob Strang: “People are going to have to think a little differently. It’s not midnight. It’s 9:30 in the morning. It’s noon, going to an ATM machine, but you still have to think like it’s midnight.”

Another woman told Dow that means knowing when not to put up a fight.

“I would never put myself at risk like that. You want it? Take it,” said Laura Conahan of Queens.

Police said they are still searching for the unidentified suspect.

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