As we head into the summer months, thieves see more opportunities to steal from cars parked in retail store lots, parking garages, on streets, and even in residential driveways. This type of theft is called “smash-and-grab”. It refers to perpetrators smashing car windows parked in places like gyms, beaches and lakes to grab wallets or purses that are often left behind during these activities.
Thieves will grab anything inside of value, including purses, wallets, and phones. These places are targeted as they are common locations where people do not need or prefer not to carry in these items. The stolen items (such as checks, ID’s, and credit or debit cards) are then used by the thief, resulting in stolen identity and/or fraudulent activity on your bank account.
Local police have reported a substantial increase in these crimes in the area in recent months. Local financial institutions have also reported an increase in attempted fraudulent activity as a result of these “smash-and-grab” crimes.
Here’s how you can protect yourself:
- Avoid leaving any personal items, including checkbooks, in your vehicle. If you cannot avoid this, be sure items are not visible.
- Monitor your account activity frequently by taking advantage of the resources GSB’s online and mobile banking platforms offer, such as real-time alerts.
- If you are the victim of a smash-and-grab, notify the police AND your financial institution immediately (even if your ID was the only item stolen).
In The Event of Suspicious Activity:
Notify your local PD or call 911, then reach out to your financial institution.
Customer Service Center
(207) 839-4796 or (800) 492-8120
Monday – Friday 7:30AM- 5:00PM
Saturday 7:30AM – 12:00PM
After hours, please call:
ATM/Debit Cards (800) 500-1044
Credit Cards (800) 883-0131