2 men wanted across Florida for ‘ATM forking’

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - In less than a month, a pair of thieves have robbed a total of nine banks across the state of Florida via a technique called “ATM Forking.”

According to the Coral Gables Police Department, since Oct. 21, there have been nine incidents reported throughout the state, including in Coral Gables, in which the same two suspects have been captured on bank surveillance tampering with ATM machines.

These suspects are using the “forking” technique to steal money from ATMs. The fraud requires the suspects do an ATM transaction. Then, when the machine is supposed to dispense money, they force a fork into the machine, which causes the machine to distribute as much cash as it can and, essentially, short circuits the machine.

“They take the metallic fork and wedge it in a certain angle in the machine, which actually causes the device to not be able to close,” said Coral Gables Police detective Robert Wentzell.

The forking phenomena is being seen across the United States and can even be found on YouTube.

“Let’s say there’s a $600 limit on the ATM — a suspect can essentially do multiple transactions exceeding $600 and keep doing withdrawal after withdrawal after withdrawal, cleaning out the ATM if they wish,” Wentzell said.

The men covered up the ATM’s surveillance camera at the Coral Gables bank with a piece paper.

“These individuals, they’re going to keep striking again and again until they’re caught,” Wentzell said. “It’s a very lucrative and profitable thing for them to do.”

These men are now wanted all across the state. Police believe they’ve stolen thousands of dollars.

If you recognize these men caught on surveillance, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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