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STS Helps Prevent Hook & Chain Incident at Peoples Bank

Peoples Bank of Alabama, which has over 30 branches, has been working with STS for over 15 years. According to Jim Kinney, the Chief Information Officer of Peoples Bank, STS Group has been involved in every aspect of Peoples Bank’s security. “STS is an integral part of our team. They’ve been a partner since the beginning [of STS],” says Jim. Over the last fifteen years, Peoples Bank has invested in every security service and solution STS has to offer.

In the last few years, STS has partnered with Peoples Bank to upgrade the security of their freestanding (island) ATMs. The driving motivation to implement these upgrades comes from the recent increase in ATM theft commonly known as “snatch-and-grab” or “hook-and-crook”. These burglaries are perpetrated by thieves who attach a hook and chain to the safe door, usually via the deposit slot, and, using construction equipment or a stolen truck, snatch the safe door open. This allows the thieves access to the cash area of the ATM. Peoples Bank has always been a leader in maintaining state-of-the-art security solutions and wanted to ensure they were protecting their ATMs and ITMs against this type of crime.

The first facet of this upgrade involved creating a sturdy exterior frame which is bolted to the concrete slab. This proprietary frame, designed by the Peoples Bank team, with the help of STS Group, helps prevent the machine from being removed from its location during an attempted burglary.

The bank also elected to install safe reinforcement kits in each of their island ATMs and ITMs. These kits secure the area around the deposit and dispense slots, making it nearly impossible to attach a hook to the machine. These kits prevent the thieves from being able to snatch the safe door from the machine, thereby preventing the removal of the cash. According to Kinney, STS was a crucial part of deploying these security measures across all their ATMs and ITMs. In fact, these upgrades had a chance to prove their effectiveness during a recent burglary attempt.

In this incident, one of Peoples Bank’s ATMs was targeted in the middle of the night around 2:30 am. The perpetrators backed a truck up to the machine and attempted to use a hook & chain to snatch open the safe door. However, because of the security measures in place, they were only able to get the machine to lean forward. Even when the bad guys tried to pull it over a second time, the ATM stayed in place. The criminals realized that this machine was impossible to penetrate and fled the scene.

The upgraded security measures, including the recently installed safe reinforcement kit, had done their job in preventing a successful attack on the ATM. Although the machine was damaged, the cash inside was safe. If it hadn’t been for STS and Peoples Bank working together to provide thoughtful and proactive security solutions, this burglary attempt could have had a very different outcome.

As Jim Kinney said, “The point of having a long-term relationship is that you think together about things you can do to enhance your security. I am very happy with the relationship we have with STS.”

Ready to learn more about our Hook & Chain deterrent solutions? Email us at sales@stsgrp.com to schedule a consultation.