- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Three robberies near ATMs in Waldorf have prompted the Charles County Sheriff’s Office to urge citizens to take precautions when using the machines.
In the past month, the sheriff’s office reported three robberies in the Waldorf area where the victim had just completed an ATM transaction.
The first was when a man left a store to make a night deposit at a nearby ATM and was robbed.
Another case involved an elderly woman who was robbed while leaving an ATM inside a Waldorf grocery store. While in the parking lot, a man grabbed her purse and ran. He was arrested by officers a short time later.
The most recent case was reported May 2 when sheriff’s officers chased and apprehended two people after a woman was robbed of her money when returning to her car from an ATM outside a bank in Waldorf Marketplace.
The woman and multiple witnesses described the two people and the vehicle they left in, and another officer was able to locate the vehicle on U.S. 301 near McKendree Road in Waldorf.
Officers pursued the vehicle to the Brandywine Crossing shopping center in Prince George’s County, where they were able to force the vehicle to stop.
Tylane Lorenzo Landy, 27, and Lanaisha Danielle Lanford, 19, both of Washington, D.C., were charged with armed robbery and remanded to the Charles County jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.
In a press release, officers warned that incidents such as these “can occur anywhere at any time.”
The sheriff’s office makes the following suggestions:
•Pay close attention to the surroundings. Before using an ATM or going inside a bank, take a look around the parking lot. Is there anyone hanging around or sitting in a car? Make mental notes of the type of clothes they are wearing. What type of car are they in? Watch what they do for a few minutes.
•When the transaction is complete, stay mindful of your surroundings. Is anyone approaching? How are they acting? If something doesn’t seem right, go back inside.
•Don’t be fooled into thinking you know what a thief looks like. Many times thieves are by themselves, but sometimes they have partners, and lately, the culprits have been male and female teams. In one case, a man suspected in a robbery had a child in his car. Nowadays, thieves try to blend in and not stand out, so pay close attention to what people are doing when conducting banking transactions.
•Don’t select an ATM at the corner of a building — corners create a blind spot. Use an ATM located near the center of a building. Do automated banking in a public, well-lit location that is free of shrubbery and decorative partitions or dividers.
•Never count cash at the machine, in public or in a car. Count it in a secure place.
•When using a drive-up ATM, keep the engine running and the doors locked, and leave enough room to maneuver between the car ahead in the drive-up line.
•Maintain a supply of deposit envelopes at home or in the car. Prepare all transaction paperwork prior to arrival at the ATM. This will minimize the amount of time spent at the machine.
•If an assailant demands money, give it to him.