POLICE in Portsmouth are asking people to be vigilant when using cash machines in the city today following reports of two ‘cash traps’ in operation.
At around 8am on Wednesday, the ATM outside of the Co-Op on Copnor Road was found to have a ‘cash trap’ placed over the dispenser by a member of the public.
The trap is a plastic bar with sticky tape on it, and isn’t obvious unless you are specifically looking for it. The device is the same colour as the cash machine and can appear to be part of the ATM.
It is believed to be used as a device to take the cash when money is requested by the victim. This can then be recovered by whoever is responsible at a later time. This is likely to be regularly due to the amount of cash the devices can hold at any one time.
A similar device was found on an ATM nearby at the Barclays Bank on Cosham High Street at around 6.50am.
Police are now investigating whether these devices are being installed by a gang operating in the area.
It’s unknown if there are any more such devices that have been installed locally. Detectives are asking members of the public and shop workers to be extra vigilant and report any suspicious items on or around any ATMs in the city.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC Robinson at Cosham police station on 101 or at http://www.hampshire.police.uk/internet/do-it-online/online-forms/message-for-officer.html.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.