Cops nab ATM card ‘thieves’

Talk of the Town - - FRONT PAGE - JON HOUZET

The quick re­sponse of bank staff and the po­lice led to the ar­rest of two sus­pected ATM card fraud­sters last Thurs­day.

TotT was alerted to the in­ci­dent by Port Al­fred res­i­dent Meryl Howes, who said she was the vic­tim of a card swap at the Capitec bank ATM at Her­itage Mall.

“As soon as I re­alised that the card now in my hand was not mine, and my cell­phone in­di­cated that cash had been with­drawn from my ac­count, I rushed to Capitec Bank to stop my card,” Howes said.

She said the bank man­ager was very help­ful, phon­ing the po­lice, and then walk­ing to the ATM in ques­tion, where she chanced upon an­other scam in progress.

Po­lice spokesper­son Cap­tain Mali Govender said the sec­ond vic­tim was a 56-year-old woman.

Two men, pre­sumed to be the same sus­pects, had swapped her card for some­one else’s.

The man­ager stopped all trans­ac­tions and no money was with­drawn.

The two sus­pects pre­tend­ing to help were still present, at which point “alarm bells went off”, Govender said.

The bank man­ager at­tempted to take a photo of the per­pe­tra­tors, where­upon they jumped into their get­away car and sped off, but she took a photo of their reg­is­tra­tion num­ber, en­abling the po­lice to give chase.

“Ev­ery­one was try­ing to ar­rest them,” Govender said.

The po­lice even­tu­ally caught them when their car went over an em­bank­ment in Makhanda (Gra­ham­stown).

Govender said the same sus­pects were wanted in Gra­ham­stown. Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing a case of fraud.

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