Four men and one woman have been arrested for allegedly stealing cash from ATM machines in the Italian regions of Liguria, Marche, Tuscany and Veneto using a claw-like contraption similar to a fork.
Unlike the more "traditional" cash trapping method, which involves using a claw-like device to steal money from ATMs before the selected amount of money is released, this latest form of theft, known as “reversal cash trapping”, allows thieves to steal up to ten times more cash straight from the source.
According to La Stampa newspaper, thieves would insert a fork-like device into the opening of the cash machine which would trap more than the amount selected by the customer.
The alleged thieves then used their own cards instead of relying on those of customers to stimulate the flow of cash, selecting just a minimal amount, allowing them to make off with as much as €2,000 at a time.
With the help of CCTV, police have now arrested four men and one women in Ventimiglia, Genoa, Bologna and Florence in connection with the incident. Another woman is also being investigated who – along with her child – allegedly acted as a lookout while the thefts were taking place.
The investigation was sparked after an incident in the town of Bogliasco in Genoa.
In CCTV footage published by TM News (below) a man is seen to apparently employing the technique.