SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The $6 billion The Golden 1 Credit Union is taking particular satisfaction that technology innovations that originated with the CU were instrumental in the recovery of one of the CU's ATM's.
The CU, which deploys 270 ATMs, had one of its free-standing machines stolen on July 5 at just past 5:30 a.m. Within minutes of having the theft confirmed by the police, a special team of technology employees for the CU was able to track the machine and notify the police of its location because of technologic security innovations the CU had implemented.
"Golden 1 officials are very conscientious of safeguarding members' assets, and we diligently search for ways to address the challenge of possible tampering with ATMs," explained Ric Dannelley, a senior vice president with The Golden 1. "When we could not find a satisfactory vendor solution, we coupled multiple existing technologies to create an innovative in-house tracking system. With this new system, we were able to respond in minutes to monitor and locate our ATM," he added.
The ATM had been located in an area fairground and bolted to a concrete foundation, Dannelley explained. The thieves had hotwired a forklift and used that to pry the 3,000 lb ATM off the concrete pad and hoist it into the back of a pickup truck; an exercise Dannelley said had managed to significantly damage the truck. The CU's speedy response was able to help the police track the machine down before the thieves had been able to break in to steal the case, the CU said.
Dannelley said the CU would not seek to patent the innovation that allowed it to track the machine and would only say that it is loosely based on global positioning system technology in order to avoid giving any potential future thieves any hints on how to defeat it.
He added that the news of The Golden 1's innovation had spread among both vendors and other CUs and had led to many calls. "It would be fair to say it has generated a lot of interest," Dannelley said.
Over 50% of the CUs ATMs are freestanding and outside of branches, Dannelley said, adding that the CU was seeing an increasing number of these smash and grab thefts, where the entire ATM is stolen, in the area at large.