Broken ATM dispenses $37,000 to homeless man

WGME-CNN
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Friday, April 4, 2014 - 3:59pm

A malfunctioning ATM in South Portland, Maine spit out thousands of dollars in cash to a homeless man, Brad Rogers explains the $37,000 mistake.

A woman waiting to use the ATM in this bank called police to report a man spending an unusual amount of time at the ATM. When South Portland police officers drove up, they saw this same homeless man inside filling a shopping bag with cash from the ATM. How much?

 Brad Rogers, "It turns out it's more than $37,000 in cash."

Woman, "Oh my God, really."

Man, "How do you withdraw that much money from the ATM? I can only get 200 at a time."

Woman, "Wow. That's a lot of money."

Brad Rogers, "Have you ever heard of anything like this?"

Lt. Todd Bernard, "No, this is a first."

South Portland police Lieutenant Todd Bernard says police have dealt with this man before. He says the man used his bank card to withdraw $140 from his account, but then kept going and the ATM kept giving him money.

Lt. Todd Bernard, "He was using his bank card to request more money, yes."

Brad Rogers, "And it gave it to him."

Lt. Todd Bernard, "Yes."

Police say they gave the money back to the bank and say the bank didn't want to press charges.

Woman, "I think that's really nice of them, and I think it's the right thing to do."

Brad Rogers, "How come?"

Woman, "Because, I mean, obviously he was kind of tricking the system a little bit. But it was partially their fault for not having the right security on it."

Woman, "If the bank was giving it, he wasn't stealing it. He was just playing the slot machine, so to speak."

As for the ATM, it was out of service. A TD Bank spokesman tells us "Due to a code error, this TD Bank ATM dispensed an incorrect amount of cash to a customer."

He says no customer accounts were impacted by this $37,000 mistake, because no charges were filed, police won't release the homeless man's name, but they aren't ruling out the possibility of charges against him. 

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