In Wake Of Recent Attack, Security Expert Offers Tips On How To Stay Safe At ATMs

Former Cop Frank Livoti Says They Offer Violent People Perfect Arena To Strike

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

  • Johnny Handsome

    When will you racist nutters realize that this isn’t a black/white thing. Its a have./ have not thing. Besides, this guy was starving – he wanted to go to jail. Why else stick you face into the ATM camera? 3 hots and a cot is better than sleeping on the street and starving to death. Just like the guy who held up the bank for one dollar. He wanted to go to jail so he could get medical treatment for his recently diagnosed cancer.

  • As was said so will be done

    The FBI should be knocking on your door any day now.

  • michaelfury
  • LG

    Ever heard of Bernard Madoff?

  • tara ann rose

    I remember the days when the only time you could get money was between 9am and 5pm inside a bank. And the world operated just fine.
    Unless its an emergency you really dont need to use an a cash machine. Adults used to know how to plan ahead and budget money through the week.
    I dont feel sorry for anyone who gets held up at one of these machines.
    There is no reason to have to use an atm machine. They are watering holes for predators the way school yards are for child molesters

    • badman

      dag nab it tara! and bring back rotary phones!! people don’t need fancy “touch tone”!! They should just plan ahead and leave more time to dial.

      People who use “computers” and those newfangled “micro-wave ovens” are a bunch of jerks, too.

    • Sam

      You are such an idiot. Times are changing. No one deserves to be robbed and beaten up just because they need to use a ATM

  • Theuresamaven

    Frank Livoti, the former police officer who advised Scott Rappaport on this article, is THE Frank Livoti who murdered (correction: deprived Anthony Baez of his civil rights by killing him) Anthony Baez in 1994, by putting Mr. Baez in a choke hold after his football accidently hit his police car. Of the hundred of cormer New York City police officers who could have advised on this case, why was this murderer (correction, the former officer convicted of depriving Anthony Baez of his civil rights by killing him) used as a consultant? Doesn’t CBS check out who their experts are? And did Livoti think than no one was going to recognize him because he is bald now?

    • Rayclark Palmer

      Theuresamaven I, too, thank you for your comment, research and memory. I wonder if Livoti was allowed to keep his taxpayer funded pension despite his dispicable act.

      • badman

        seriously! awesome to have a comment with some actual substance. Theuresamaven, will you run for Mayor?

    • God bless frank

      Frank is a hero!!!!! Baez was a low life loser

  • gina

    I do not think that the atm machines and customers using them should be visible to anybody passing by the bank from the distance of 100 yards or more. The atm withdrawals should be conducted in a more discreet way. Same applies to bodegas, 7-11s etc. Right now anybody withdrawing the money in the evening is bound to make a center stage appearance in the place visible to the public on the entire block. There is something fundamentally wrong with this concept!

    • Sam

      I don’t know if I agree with you. I think most ATM machines should be inside a bank and the door should lock behind the person. Only a person with an ATM card should be able to enter. Not being visible for 100 yards would make it hard to find someone who may be hurt and would also make it a great spot for a criminal to rob someone because no one would be able to see them.

  • Le Nwwaert

    Another Obama supporter going to work

  • HooDatIS?

    this is terrbile
    these women need to carry guns with them or mace
    he is one ugly looking fool
    i pray htis lady is okay
    find this animal and put him in a cage

  • Rayclark Palmre

    I am growing increasing frustrated with the quality of these video cameras that are suposed to deter crime or at least assist in the apprehension of the perpertrators. In this and may similar videos the films are of practically no use in helping to made an identification. Store owners, banks, merchants please invest in better

    • Rayclark Palmre

      the last sentence was supposed to read: “invest in better equipment.”

  • Peter

    Another first class citizen.

  • my name

    i thought “caught on video” articles would show a video…

  • take the streets back from low lifes

    We should make stealing or robbery a life time sentence or better yet cut the hand off.Us law abiding people should not have to live with these low lifes lets get rid of them.

    • joey from b'hurstt

      I believe that anybody that receives public assistance should be required to wear an ankle bracelet that monitors their movement. If they hang about a certain drug location, then we can assume they are drug dealers; if shows them at the scene of a crime, they are probably the perpetrators.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live