Police: Thieves target customer banking at ATM

ALBANY, Ga. -- A gunman held up a woman at a Bank of America ATM at 121 W. Oglethorpe Blvd. at around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, an Albany Police Department report stated.

The woman, Shemika Mackeroy, 28, met officers nearly 2 miles away from the crime scene to report the robbery, the report added.

The Albany Law Enforcement Center at 201 West Oglethorpe Blvd. sits just across Washington Street from the bank and its ATM lanes.

Why Mackeroy drove across the Flint River and then contacted police is unknown and part of the investigation, a police official said.

"Officers responded to the 800 block of Rood Street in reference to an armed robbery," APD spokeswoman Phyllis Banks said. "While she (Mackeroy) was at the ATM at the Bank of America, she was approached by a black male armed with a handgun."

Mackeroy drove up to the ATM but got out of her vehicle to use it, Banks said. The gunman demanded money, but Mackeroy said she did not have any.

"The suspect took a small amount of money and left the scene on foot," Banks said. "This case remains active and under investigation."

ATM safety tips from the Albany Police Department

1. Pay attention to the ATM. Use an ATM near the center of a building (corners create a blind spot), in a public, well-lighted location free of shrubbery, decorative partitions or dividers.

2. Check the card reader on the ATM. If it jiggles or is loose, it may be a "skimmer" placed to obtain your card and PIN number by fraud. Cancel your transaction. Notify bank personnel. If the bank is closed, notify the police immediately.

3. Memorize your PIN. Never write it on the back of your card.

4. Pay attention to your surroundings throughout the entire transaction. Prevent people from looking over your shoulder as you enter your PIN or trying to help you with ATM transactions. Be aware of anyone sitting in a parked car nearby. Wait until you are in your locked car, or preferably at another secure location, before counting cash.

5. Prepare all transaction paperwork prior to your arrival at the ATM to minimize the amount of time spent at the machine.

6. When using a drive-up ATM, keep your engine running, your doors locked and your other windows closed. Be sure you are not followed when you leave. If you are, drive directly to a police or fire station, or to a crowded, well-lighted location or business.

7. If you are involved in a confrontation with an assailant who demands your money, comply with the demands.