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Home Articles ATM Tracking and Recovery: Locating the Ram Raiders
ATM Tracking and Recovery: Locating the Ram Raiders E-mail
Monday, 08 March 2010 11:39

It seems that almost daily there are reports of complete ATMs being stolen from a wide range of premises with varying physical protection against such thefts. Some thefts require little more than a reasonable degree of physical strength in the perpetrator and a vehicle or hand-trolley to swiftly remove the ATM from the location. Convenience stores, pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotel lobbies are often targets for such attacks.

At the other end of the scale are thefts of ATMs from locations considered to be secure and purpose-built to protect the ATM and the cash within it. Bank branches and similar locations are also targeted on an all-too-frequent basis. Often heavy construction equipment such as diggers, forklifts, backhoes and the like are used to overcome the physical protection that was expected, if not actually intended, to prevent such attacks. The impact of such Ram Raid attacks, particularly those repeated frequently by the same organized crime gangs, goes beyond the loss of the cash held within the ATM security enclosure. The collateral damage to the premises and the disruption of normal business activities until the damage can be repaired are of significant concern.

One of the reasons for the apparent increase in Ram Raid attacks and the resulting theft of the whole ATM may be the relative difficulty of ‘semi-skilled' criminals to gain access to the cash within the security enclosure before their attack is detected. Often, the preferred modus operandi is to use maximum force to quickly dislodge and remove the ATM to a place of safety, where the criminals can spend as much time as required to gain access to the cash.

In such situations it becomes increasingly important to detect and identify the location where the criminals are safely working on opening the ATM and to apprehend them in the act to prevent repeated attacks.

Advanced Cellular Tracking (ACT) is a powerful technology designed by Satcom Technology Ltd which, in addition to providing an early warning that an ATM is being stolen, also allows the ATM to be tracked when removed from the premises. ACT allows law-enforcement to be directed quickly and accurately to the stolen ATMs location.

So how does the system actually work?

In addition to utilizing Global Positioning System (GPS), Satcom's new ACT uses an advanced form of cellular triangulation to accurately locate the stolen ATM. ACT overcomes one of the primary limitations of traditional GPS tracking systems in that they normally require a clear line-of-sight with the sky to calculate the position. Criminals, in their haste to remove the ATM from the premises as quickly as possible, tend to roughly store the ATM in the get-away-vehicle. The ATM can often end up being positioned such that no GPS signal is available; upside down, or even inside a closed truck or trailer. Further, the location chosen by the criminals to gain access to the security enclosure may be a dense forest or enclosed building.

Satcom's Advanced Cellular Tracking (ACT) system treats a strong GPS signal as a bonus, rather than a requirement, to report the position of the stolen ATM and facilitate asset recovery and the apprehension of those responsible for the ATM theft before they can repeat their attacks.

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