RICHMOND, Calif. (KRON) — The Richmond Police Department is reporting an increase in smash-and-grab robberies targeting ATM users. Thieves have been waiting for patrons who use ATM machines to complete their transactions and return to their vehicles, according to a social media post from Richmond PD. The thieves then follow the ATM users back to their vehicles and observe where the patrons put the money they withdrew.

If the ATM user puts the money they withdrew in a purse or wallet and place it on a car seat, the thieves then smash the window and grab the purse or wallet before fleeing in a waiting getaway car. In many instances, the thieves have followed unsuspecting victims for several blocks from the bank, waiting for them to stop in traffic or at a red light before smashing the window.

KRON On is streaming live news now

Richmond PD recommends the following safety tips when doing ATM banking:

  • Lock your vehicle
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Not sitting in your vehicle once you’ve completed your transaction
  • Securing your purse or property in a trunk or locked glove box

Police did not reveal whether or not they believed the incidents were connected. The social media post was also accompanied by a short video on crime prevention.