Crime is making it a lot harder to get cash in the Big Apple. You can bank on it.
Chase Bank is locking up multiple around-the-clock ATMs early “due to rising crime.”
“Our apologies. We decide (sic) to close several ATM vestibules at 5 PM or 6 PM, aligning the hours of service to that of the normal branch hours, due to rising crime and vagrancy that occurred in these previously 24/7 vestibules,” Chase tweeted this week.
But the bank was cagey about the extent of the cutbacks.
“For the safety of our customers and employees, we may temporarily close some ATMs overnight,” a Chase spokesperson told The Post, without addressing questions about the time and place of the lockdowns. “We can’t confirm how many ATMs are affected because it changes constantly.”
One peeved patron, Sunny Ng of Brooklyn, vented on Twitter Tuesday night after he could not access ATMs in Fort Greene and Williamsburg.
“It’s really annoying that @chase locks their ATMs at 10 pm now. I thought this was New York?” Ng tweeted.
“I’m kind of shocked that they [Chase] admitted this is what they’re doing,” Ng, a 37-year-old software engineer, told The Post, noting that ATMs are most needed outside of bank hours. “It’s dumb.”
The online Chase Support confession rattled some customers on Twitter.
“Are you going to refund the ATM fees to customers when we get ripped off to use a bodega ATM to pay for our late-night slice of pizza because you can’t provide a basic service to account holders?” fumed one disgusted customer.
“Inconvenience an entire producing, working community but guarantee rights for criminals. Typical NYC politics & its results for the middle class that all you politicians falsely claim to champion,” groused another ticked-off tweeter.
In August, the Post reported that banks around the city were locking out ATM users at night in an effort to keep out homeless people — some of whom were using the vestibules as toilets.
“Chase is not making a lot of money on those vestibules. It’s not a moneymaker,” said John Weilbaker, 64, president of NewYorkATM.com, who has been selling and servicing ATMs for two decades. He said the banks pay upwards of $25,000 for the machines. “You get a homeless person taking a crap or someone committing a crime, putting a skimmer on the ATM. It gets to be too much work,” he said, noting liability issues.
Joseph Giacalone, a retired NYPD sergeant and adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, warned, “When a major bank like Chase is closing ATMs early or limiting access because of crime, it’s about time that Albany acts. We know retail is getting crushed by crime and now banks are worried about their customers. Lax policies, dumb laws, DAs that don’t prosecute, and incompetent politicians, are doing their best to usher in the 1990s.”
Said a spokesperson for the New York Bankers Association: “Ensuring the safety and security of customers and employees have always been a top priority of the banking industry. While we have not conducted a recent survey of our members on this topic, as issues arise NYBA and our members evaluate possible trends with the intention of working with banks, law enforcement, and the local community toward solutions.”
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