Not only are robbers going after people who withdraw large amounts of money inside the bank, but they now pounce on withdrawals at the ATM as well, Witbank News reports.
Witbank resident Gerhard Viljoen is one of the latest victims to experience the new trend.
He said that on May 10 at about 6.30am, he went to Absa bank in Highland Mews and wanted to withdraw money.
“Four armed men approached me, and although I did not see the gun, I just felt the cold metal against my head. They instructed me to hand over my bank card and pin number, which I did. I saw that they withdrew the money that was in my account,” Viljoen said on Monday, May 4.
“It was only after my salary was paid in at the end of this month that I saw a dent in my bank account. I enquired about it, and they [the bank] said that the men applied for an instant loan when they had my card and pin number. So they can apply for a loan, equal to your daily limit. On condition that you repay it as soon as your salary reflects in your account.”
Viljoen said he had no knowledge of the suspects doing this, as he was not notified by the bank on that day. He said the security guard for the bank was nowhere in sight on the morning of the incident.
“When the whole commotion was over, the security guard appeared, and when I asked him where he was, he said he went to the bathroom,” Viljoen said.
A case was opened at the Witbank police station, and an inquiry was sent to Absa bank, but no response was received by time of going to print.
Articles have appeared in the Witbank News almost every week about residents withdrawing money and then robbed of it.
Captain Eddie Hall, spokesperson for the Witbank police, responded to these incidents. “People with large amounts of money are being targeted. The suspects will not hesitate to shoot, in order to obtain the money. The police are doing an urgent appeal on all residents to not withdraw such large amounts of money, rather make use of EFT [Electronic Funds Transfer] payments or withdraw small amounts from an ATM. Do not under any circumstances withdraw a large amount.”
Numerous residents have fallen victim to this crime, and residents are urged to be vigilant at all times.