Gauteng 'tops' for ATM related robberies, Eastern Cape for bank robberies - new study

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Most robberies of people after they withdrew money at an ATM or inside a bank branch occured in Gauteng in 2018, according to a report by the South African Banking Risk Information Centre.

About 62% of such robberies took place in Gauteng, compared to 6% in the Western Cape, 8% in KwaZulu-Natal, 7% in Mpumalanga and 6% in North West.

The method most often used by robbers was to follow a victim who had drawn money and pounce when he was on the way back home or to work.

According to the report, robbers seem to believe it is easier to rob people who withdrew cash from ATM machines than those who withdrew cash inside a bank branch.

A variation on this type of robbery is where a person who had withdrawn money is lured into a motor vehicle under the pretext of being offered a lift and then robbed.

In some cases, perpetrators use a minibus and pretend that it is a taxi. The victim is then driven to a secluded location and robbed of the cash that had been withdrawn.

In many cases the victim is also robbed of his bank card and forced to reveal the PIN code.

ATM attacks

Gauteng reported the most ATM attacks (36%) in 2018, followed by Mpumalanga (17%), the Western Cape (14%) and the Eastern Cape (13%).

ATM attack incidents decreased by 7% in 2018 compared to 2017 and cash losses from ATM attacks decreased by 42% over the same period.

However, ATM attack incidents using explosives increased by 26% during 2018 compared to 2017. Although there was an increase in recorded attacks during 2018, most (70%) of them were unsuccessful and may have been perpetrated by inexperienced criminals, according to the report.

In most reported incidents, the outside of the ATM was damaged, but the safe was not breached.

Bank robberies

There was a 100% increase in bank robbery incidents from 2017 to 2018 with a 59% increase in losses.

The Eastern Cape reported 44% of bank robbery incidents in 2018, followed by Gauteng (28%), Mpumalanga (7%) and North West (5%).

Cash in transit

Cash in transit (CIT) robberies and their associated cash losses reflect a downward trend. CIT incidents decreased by -22% from 2017 (376 incidents) to 2018 (292 incidents). Cash losses also showed a decrease for the same period.

Gauteng had 34% of reported CIT incidents in 2018. In the Eastern Cape incidents increased by more than a 100% from 2017 to 2018 and contributed to 18% of reported incidents in 2018.

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