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Boston police ask for help ID’ing woman accused of withdrawing $12K with stolen ATM card

BOSTON — Police in Boston are turning to the public for help identifying a woman who allegedly withdrew $12,000 with a stolen ATM card.

Detectives on Tuesday released surveillance images of a woman who they say is wanted in connection with a larceny in the area of 11 Porter Street in East Boston around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 22.

“The suspect scammed the victim into believing there was an error on the ATM machine after she used it,” the Boston Police Department said in a statement. “The suspect stole the victim’s ATM card and withdrew $12,000.”

For the first time since she was the victim of the ATM scam, Megan Bates of Roslindale is seeing a person of interest in her case.

“I really want somebody to recognize her and come forward and say who she is,” she said.

Two days after this brazen crime, Bates told Boston 25 that she was meeting her friends for lunch at a cash-only restaurant when she went to an ATM on Porter Street to take money out. She said a man told her she left cash in the ATM and still needed to finish her transaction.

“Somehow in our whole interaction, he pulled my card out of the machine and handed it to me. But when he pulled my card out, he handed me a different card. It was a sleight of hand; I still don’t even know how he did it,” Bates said.

She didn’t realize until the next day that this man stole her debit card and handed her another. She believed he also watched her put her pin number in because she soon realized she lost $12,000.

“There were 3 pending transactions for $4,000,” the Bates said. “My heart was in my throat.”

She reported the fraud to her bank and learned the thief had withdrawn money from her account at different banks in Boston. The bank was ultimately able to recover the stolen funds.

When asked for comment Tuesday morning, the victim told Boston 25 News that she believes the man and woman sought by police were working in tandem.

“It made sense to me that it was a pair, and that it was actually a woman that went into the teller because how else would she manage to get away with it and not be asked for an ID, not be suspicious,” said Bates. “I just want people to be careful and just be aware of their surroundings and not be rushing off to lunch with their friends without thinking about what might be happening to them in the moment.”

Anyone who recognizes the woman in the surveillance images is urged to contact detectives at 617-343-4234. Anonymous tips can be shared by calling the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or by texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME.

An investigation remains ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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