Suspect stole thousands from victim’s ATM account

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – Police in Westfield are searching for a man they say stole nearly $18,000 from a victim’s account. Surveillance photos captured the man at ATMs in both Hamilton and Marion counties. Westfield Police say the man made 70 transactions over the course of two months.

Rod Lasley with the Indiana Bankers Association said the transactions probably didn’t raise any red flags because they weren’t in a strange location and the amounts were in moderation. Lasley said consumers can avoid similar situations by monitoring their accounts online. Anytime a consumer notices a suspicious or unfamiliar charge, they should contact their bank or credit card company immediately.

“As long as the transaction is a true, fraudulent transaction, the bank … will reimburse you if you notified them in a timely manner,” said Lasley.

Police were not saying how the suspect in this case might have gotten the victim’s ATM information, but Lasley said it’s possible to recreate a debit card.

“They take the number, the expiration date, the number on the back … they can recreate a plastic piece, utilizing the embossing technology, to recreate those cards. It can be done. About anything can be done in today’s society and it can definitely be done where someone recreates that card with the information on it,” said Lasley.

Experts say thieves can access bank accounts simply by watching their victims at an ATM. Lasley recommends using the mirror to watch what’s going on behind you, covering up the keypad when entering your pin number, and having your debit card out and ready to go as soon as you step up to the ATM.

Police say the suspect in the Westfield case is between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-1.He weighs between 160 to 180 pounds. Officers say the tattoos are his most distinctive features. One is on his right calf is a cross. The other is on his left calf is a swirling design.

Anyone who recognizes the man should call the Westfield Police at 896-5239.

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