By Heartland News
SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - A woman told police she had been robbed at gunpoint around 1:30 a.m. Sunday while at the Montgomery Bank ATM located near Malone and East Street.
The 38-year-old victim told police she had just retrieved a undisclosed amount of cash when she was approached by a black man with a hand gun.
She said the man pointed the weapon at her and demanded the cash. The victim handed over the money and the suspect headed south.
Police are searching for the suspect. If you have any information that may help, call the Sikeston Department of Public Safety at 573-471-4711 or call the CRIME STOPPERS Hotline at 573-471-1500.
The Sikeston Department of Public Safety has also put together some tips that can help you avoid becoming a victim of an ATM robbery:
- Avoid using the ATM during late hours. Statistics show most ATM robberies happen after dark, between 7 p.m. and 4 a.m.
- Avoid going to the ATM alone. You are less likely to be targeted if you have someone with you. Criminals look for the lone victim because they are often easier prey.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for people loitering around the ATM or sitting in parked vehicles nearby. If you see suspicious behavior, cancel your transaction and use an ATM at a different location. Always keep checking your surroundings while using the ATM.
- Be ready when you arrive at the ATM. Have your card ready and don't be fumbling around looking for your ATM card or deposit slips.
- After you finish your transaction, leave quickly. Never county your cash at the ATM. This is just asking for trouble. Instead, leave the area and count the money later.
- When possible, stay in your vehicle to do the transaction. Leave your car in gear with your foot firmly on the brake. This way you will be able to quickly leaving if necessary.
- Pick your location wisely. Only use an ATM machine near a well traveled road or a high traffic area that is well lit and free of obstructions where criminals could hide. Drive around near the ATM and look for anyone or anything suspicious before you approach. ATM machines in busier places are generally safer. Go to a busy supermarket or gas station to use their ATM as opposed to a dark parking lot.
- Finally, trust your instincts. Beware of people approaching who want to talk. They may be trying to gain your confidence so they can rob you when the time is right. If you get a bad feeling, leave immediately and notify the police.