Why don't they put tracking devices inside ATMs?

This is my brilliant idea of the day.

It is fairly common to hear of ATMs being hauled away by thieves. Seems to me a GPS tracking device hidden within would be a relatively inexpensive tool to easily lead the police to the thieves’ lair.

Considering the potential loss - both the cash within and the damage done - this should be a no-brainer.

Also, making it known that ATMs contain such devices would seem to be quite the deterrent.

Am I missing something?

Who says they don’t?

What security is in those machines and exactly how much money is in them is a closely-guarded secret.

Given the the highly-secured one (installed in the bank, with armor surrounding them) will hold $100K or more, you BET they have not-mentioned security on them.
Take a gun into the bank, and you MIGHT net $10K (and a dye pack or two), hit an ATM at 17:00 on Fri of a 3-day weekend, and you do much better - IF you know how to open without triggering a self-destruct sequence.

And most places have learned not to install ATM’s where/how they could be easily snatched.

My fav: mounted on a post beside a remote entrance to a mall - away from all security, or even foot traffic - but handy for people driving into the lot from a side road.
Pickup truck + tow chain.

Of course, the weight and the armor on them still make getting the cash out something of a problem - use a torch, and the cash is toast.

“Self-destruct sequence”? :dubious:

I once worked with the ATM group at Wells Fargo - the most tight-lipped bunch of programmers I ever met.

The idea of either igniting the currency trays or dumping either ink or a caustic solution on them was floated.
Whether these were implemented or even seriously considered by the manufacturers, I don’t know

I really doubt that anybody will get any usable currency with either a torch or a crowbar.

Best bet would be to kill the employee once he had unlocked the machine…

Even then - Wanna bet that there isn’t a (short) time limit on the alarm defeat?

Second favorite: Moron used a bulldozer to break into the wall containing the ATMs - not the adjacent wall, the one with the ATM’s mounted in it. He used a bit too much gas - ran over the ATM’s burying them in the ground under the tracks. He din’t stick around to dig them out.

We could also have the ATM start shooting photos in random directions and uploading them. The cost of a false alarm with this approach would be far less than the cash destruction methods.

GPS is just a receiver for the signal from the satellite. It would need both power, once the device was ripped away from it’s power source, and a way to phone home. A cell signal is easy but a smart thief (maybe an oxymoron) could defeat that if they wanted to. I’d also wonder if the physical protection from attack wouldn’t block both GPS and cell signals without a relatively unprotected antenna. That might provide another route of attacking the system. Again the oxymoron rears it’s head for those who’s plan is just to grab it then smash later.

Why on earth would they keep that a secret?

I’m pretty sure they are - at least in some cases. I get the impression that this is an area problem. It isn’t like these randomly happen over the country.

If memory serves they have caught over 100 people with trackers on fake oxycodone bottles. I can’t imagine banks wouldn’t be using these - as they already do in addition to dye packs (although the impression I get is that many of the machines taken aren’t in banks - but in like stores and stuff).

I can’t imagine that if there is a problem in an area that they aren’t using technology that they use in other areas.

There is this high-tech device called a “battery”…

My favorite low-tech scam was a case where some bright guys hung an out-of-order sign on the night deposit drawer, directing depositors to use the “temporary drop” – a library book deposit box – instead. Before the bank opened, they came by with a pickup truck, and hauled the box away. With it’s cash-heavy contents.

A simple solution to the “disconnect” problem - this takes all of 5 seconds to figure out - the signal from “home” is what STOPS it from transmitting - unplug it and it starts its photo record and locator beacon.

Yes, there is a way to defeat that, but I’m not going there.

And to think of the first gen machines which could not be certain of a connection to the mainframe - they could actually be set to operate in dumb mode - no verification of balances (I believe the cash withdrawal limit was pretty low.
I remember seeing a “Currently Unable to Display Balance” message:Translation: it was off-line.

It’s a Frank Abignale story.

Rule #1 of any kind of security - you don’t tell people what kinds of security you have.

If I know exactly what all I am up against, I have an advantage. You don’t give bad guys an advantage

Those baby ATMs seen in stores and gas stations are not worth messing with - you KNOW there are at least 4 cameras in the store trained on it, and it never contains nearly as much as the ones operated by the banks - so you have an easy grab (if the clerk doesn’t shoot you first) - a chain through the door and around the machine - now every camera has a good shot, and the clerk is busy getting pics of your truck - all for a thousand dollars or so.

If a smart enough crook knows about a security device, he will eventually figure out how to disable it.

If it’s any kind of radio transmitter then it can be jammed. You can buy GPS spoofers that are sold to defeat employers’ trackers in commercial vehicles. They are regularly detected around airports, when they drive by.
Plus, the thieves aren’t going to drive it to their Al-Capone-style hideout and work on it at their leisure. They will open it as soon as possible in a neutral location and then get away from it as soon as they can. Or they will put it in cold storage for a few days to see if anyone comes to collect it.

It is? I live in Philly and I can’t recall the last time I heard of this happening in the tri state area. I can think of a few bank robberies of the traditional sort. I can think of many convenience store robberies. I can’t think of anybody hauling away an ATM.

If you do the Google on Thieves Steal ATM you will find many reports of such.

Maybe not a thing in Philly, though.

Do you have a better cite? I’m not trying to be snide or aggressive. But, if I Google “Alien Abductions” I’ll get plenty of reports claiming they happen too. Even assuming every hit on Google is a genuine, verified report of a criminal stealing an ATM- how many are unique hits? That is to say, how many are repeated reports of the same incident?

Well, that would put those abducted ATM’s well beyond the range of earthly GPS tracking.

Try this (used a more descriptive search phrase).

There are several recent reports. None seem to be duplicates at first glance.
ETA: There are three from November on the first page