City Council introduces legislation to prevent ATM smash-and-grabs

City Council introduces legislation to prevent ATM smash-and-grabs

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cleveland City Council introduced legislation Monday that is designed to help curb the rash of ATM smash-and-grabs that have hit the city this year.

There have been at least 50 smash-and-grabs in the Cleveland area this year. Many were linked to a local gang.

The legislation, sponsored by Councilmen Anthony Brancatelli (D-12) and Mike Polensek (D-8), would require ATM machine owners to register with the city and obtain annual license that would regulate the placement and installation of machines.

The legislation would require that machines were bolted with heavy-duty brackets or fasteners to brick or concrete walls away from the stores' entrances. They would also have to be bolted into floors and would be outfitted with GPS tracking devices.

"Someone is going to get hurt or killed by these smash-and-grab bandits," said Councilman Polensek in a statement. "These ATM owners must take responsibility to ensure their machines are theft proof. And since some of them have failed to do so, the city is stepping in to safeguard the public."

Other security requirements include the placement of surveillance cameras and concrete barricades in front of stores to keep vehicles from smashing through entrances.

Polensek thinks the measures in this emergency ordinance could cut down on smash and grabs in the city.

"We're clearly specifying that you have to have bollards or planters heavily built outside of your establishment. You have to have cameras outside, better lighting," he said.

Polensek acknowledges some businesses have taken many of these steps already. But he says some businesses have not made any changes.

"We gotta send a message, you've got to safeguard your property. So if you don't use common sense, we've got to force common sense upon you," Polensek said.

Smash-and-grabs often cause thousands of dollars in damages to the stores involved and result in loss of revenue due to closure time for repairs. City Council says they will schedule public hearings to allow store owners to testify on the issue before voting.

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