Imagine you are going to withdraw some cash from an ATM, which is a fairly mundane activity for you. Then, out of the corner of your eye you see a man coming towards you with a hatchet, intent on murder. While this sounds like a scene from a horror flick, this is a real event that happened recently in Lower Manhattan.
On Aug. 15, a man named Aaron Garcia allegedly attacked a man named Miguel Solorzana, who had been using an ATM inside a Chase bank on 42 Broadway, according to a report by CBS. In security footage, Garcia is seen attacking Solorzana with a hatchet to his leg. Solorzana then attempts to take the hatchet away from Garcia, as he continues his onslaught.
Eventually, Solorzana is able to escape and Garcia smashes a few of the ATM screens with a hatchet before leaving the scene. Two days later, police caught Garcia after he broke the windows of parked cars and threatened someone with a hammer. Solorzana himself was injured by was in stable condition when he went to the hospital.
This terrifying event raises the importance of security, as if there hadn’t been cameras close-by, the police likely would have had more trouble identifying Garcia; however, there are other security tools which might have helped prevent this event.
For one, some bank branches are beginning to install smart sensors, which can detect and alert the proper authorities during certain events. For example, if someone was sleeping inside the ATM area, the sensors could detect that and send alerts. Or it could also detect key sounds such as angry words or gunshots and automatically call the police.
These sensors can also be integrated with sound systems, which could play a siren to try to scare off a potential thief or attacker.
While events such as this hatchet attack are thankfully rare, it can’t hurt to think carefully about security when it comes both to the ATMs themselves and the spaces they inhabit. The most important thing is making sure your customers feel safe when using an ATM. After all, safety is the bedrock of a good customer experience.