Back in your grandfather's day, withdrawing cash from a bank usually involved contact with a real person. Back then, criminals had to be very bold. They entered a financial institution — Bonnie and Clyde style — and demanded cash at the point of a gun. Or they tunneled into the bank after hours and blew a hole in the vault.
Of course, desperate crooks still rob banks. But nowadays, automated teller machines, or ATMs,
have provided new opportunities for criminals, often at less risk. Make no mistake: ATM theft is big business. In 2008, one survey found that financial institutions lost on average over $744,000 to ATM fraud, and some banks lost as much as $12 million.