NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The brutality of it all will resonate with almost anyone who’s gone into a bank to use an ATM. It’s a place where, like it or not, we can be vulnerable.
CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport saw actual surveillance video of a woman being attacked at an automated teller machine. It happened last Saturday at a Bank of America in the Soundview section of the Bronx.
“Now I’m scared if I go in there something might happen to me,” resident Cynthia Chavez said.
On the video the suspect a seen entering the bank, grabbing the unsuspecting victim around the neck and demanding money. The woman who was unable to withdraw cash was thrown to the ground by the thug, who then fled.
“Every time I go in there I think to myself … I hope nobody goes in there behind me,” resident Lude Bonnet said.
It is a nightmare scenario that can happen to anyone at anytime. So how can you protect yourself so you won’t be a victim?
“ATMs are like watering holes. If you wait long enough every prey animal is gonna come by and take a drink,” security expert Frank Livoti said.
Livoti is a former cop and said the key to staying safe is prevention and awareness. His first tip is to scan the ATM area for anyone suspicious before you enter.
“To see if anyone is out of place or shouldn’t be there,” Livoti said.
Next, when you walk in make sure the door locks securely behind you.
“So that nobody can follow you in,” Livoti said.
Be sure to conduct your business quickly and then scan the area outside for anyone suspicious before actually leaving.
“You want to make sure that nobody has been watching you all this time,” Livoti said.
They are other tips to remember as NYPD detectives distribute wanted posters near the crime scene to try to stop the nightmare attacker who’s still on the loose and could strike again.
Livoti said in the event of an attack, the ultimate goal is to get out of there alive. He said if you have to give up money to do that, so be it.
If you have any information on the attack in this report, call police or Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.