ATM error gives users extra cash
Feb. 12, 2008
Students piled into the back of Brady Commons on Thursday night to take advantage of a mistake made at the Bank of America automated teller machine.
The ATM was dispensing $20 bills instead of $10 bills, but charging students for the smaller amount. This gave a countless number of people the ability to walk out of Brady Commons with much more money then was originally in their checking accounts.
Sophomore Allison Douglas was leaving the back of Brady around 5 p.m. when she realized something unusual
“I was just leaving the bookstore, and I walked out and saw a really long line of people behind only one of the ATMs,” Douglas said. “I asked a student in the back what was going on, and he said the ATM was giving out too much money.”
Douglas said she did not withdraw any money because she did not have a debit card, but she also said she knows other students who did take advantage of the mistake.
“Yeah, I know other people who did it, and I don’t see anything wrong with it,” she said. “I don’t think it’s stealing at all. They made the mistake. You can’t blame us for their mistake.”
Chapter 570 of the Missouri Constitution Revised Statutes states, “A person commits the crime of stealing if he or she appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him or her of it, either without consent or by means of deceit or coercion.” The statute goes on to state the penalties given to potential violators.
If the alleged theft involves less then $500, then the state classifies the criminal act as a Class A misdemeanor. If the amount is over $500 but less then $25,000, then the alleged action is a Class C felony.
Since the incident happened on campus, it falls under the jurisdiction of the MU Police Department. MUPD Capt. Brian Weimer was contacted about what took place Thursday night.
“Taking money that is not yours is stealing,” Weimer said. “There could be legal ramifications with it, but I cannot talk about it any more without a police report or legal documentation.”
Weimer said he had not heard anything about the situation. As of Monday night, no police report of the incident was on record at the police station.
Representatives from Bank of America declined to comment about the ATM malfunction.
Junior Ashley Vogt said the ATM was giving out the wrong amount of money well into Friday morning.
“My boyfriend was called by his friend about the screwed up machine,” she said. “The two of us came down to Brady a little after 1 (a.m.)”
She said they waited for a long time to get the extra money because the line was very long.
“It wrapped almost to the door,” Vogt said. “By the time we got to the ATM, we had been waiting for about 40 minutes.”