Westfield police investigating ATM theft of 70-year-old man - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Westfield police investigating ATM theft of 70-year-old man

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WESTFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

The police department is asking for the public's help in identifying a man who they said stole $700 last month from a 70-year-old man.

"If you are making $150,000 a year, that is one thing," said Capt. Michael McCabe.  "But if you are an elderly gentleman who is on a fixed income and collecting Social Security, it is very significant."

Police believe the victim had just finished his transaction at the Bank of America ATM on East Main Street, but failed to sign out from the machine. That allowed the next person in line to take advantage.

McCabe told CBS 3 that it is quite common to see this scenario play out.

"As we get older, we lose our hearing, our eyesight," said McCabe. "In those types of crimes, that is usually who gets targeted."

But there are steps people of all ages can take to protect themselves and their money.

"They make those personal kiosks for personal space," McCabe stated. "So do not be uncomfortable to ask the person to respect your personal space and wait outside while you complete your transaction."

Now with a photo out of the suspect from last month, police believe it is only a matter of time before he is caught.

"We are pretty successful," said McCabe. "Usually people who are doing the phishing are local folks to us. So they do not flee the area."

McCabe said people can also put a limit on the amount of money that can be withdrawn from their account.

So, if they fall victim, they would not lose as much money.

Anyone with information on the case from last month is asked to contact Detective Todd Edwards of the Westfield Police Department at 413-642-9389.

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