New system ‘vital’ in arrest of ATM scam suspect

CEO of Affinity Health, Murray Hewlett (left) stands with Civilian Crime Intelligence Network (CCIN) founder, Reza Patel, at the iER call centre in Rynfield.

Capt Nomsa Sekele, Benoni SAPS spokesperson, said a woman tried to withdraw money from an ATM on Fifth Avenue, Northmead at around 6.50am.

According to Sekele, the victim said she tried to withdraw money, but there was a problem with the machine; and, as she walked away, a man asked her what was wrong.

“He convinced her not to leave and [said] that he would check the ATM and see if there was a problem,” said Sekele.

The spokesperson said the 45-year-old suspect then put a card in the machine and showed her money which he pretended to have withdrawn.

“He walked away, so the woman went back to the ATM,” Sekele added.

When the female victim tried her luck again, the man allegedly grabbed her card, but dropped it.

The suspect fled in a car, but a lookout was received and he was eventually arrested on the corner of Bunyan Street and Victoria Avenue.

Reza Patel, who is the founder of the Civilian Crime Intelligence Network (CCIN) and co-founder of the iER application, said the crime alert was broadcast on the CCIN.

He said the iER centre responded by calling the police.

Patel described the centre’s role as “vital” in the arrest and praised the collective success.

He said it was the centre’s first successful involvement from a crime report to an arrest.

Sekele urged the community to be careful at ATMs.

“We are always urging people not to seek help from strangers at ATMs,” she said.


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