Palm Springs ATM Thefts Are On The Rise

Tiani Jadulang

The Palm Springs Police Department is warning businesses about a growing crime trend,  they’re offering advice to local owners, and asking for your help identifying their latest suspect.

On October 20th, local business owners were hit and reported thousands of dollars being stolen from their business account.

“A male suspect walked into a store and went directly to where the heavy countertop ATM… where you just do your regular business, he ended up cutting the cord for that atm machine and walked out.” detective Alex Doherty says. 

Doherty says it’s become quite a common crime in the recent months. 

He’s calling it not a crime of opportunity but more of a planned crime.

“We received some information from the business owner that the atm machine that was stolen was used to load prepaid cards. So essentially was there a refund from that business to secure those payment devices.” says Doherty on the incident. 

Wednesday, the Palm Springs Police Department released photos from what appears to be a security camera from the day of the incident. 

Police say the man was seen on camera before 3 p.m. on October 16th.

For those businesses who might be concerned for their own safety, Doherty says there are ways to protect themselves. 

“They sell brackets that you can attach to your counter. If you’re not using that payment device, I would set it aside to where you could watch it or have it under the counter or wherever you feel that it would be safe and just be vigilant.” he says on the safety of business owner’s ATM machines.

Darrell Baum, the owner of Wabi Sabi says he’s already trying to be proactive in keeping his store safe.

“We don’t have a central register. We have squares, little things, little square pieces, and we take them and put them in our pockets. Yeah, so there’s no way that someone can come in and steal a register… anything from us we just don’t have one.” Baum says.

Baum also says he has multiple cameras set up inside and around his store., but he will be adding more thanks to the new Commercial Security Camera System Pilot Grant Program gifted by the city.

Detective Alex Doherty did emphasize that with the holiday season comes holiday traffic, specifically with pedestrians. 

He suggests business owners remain both aware and alert of their shoppers and there whereabouts.

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