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Thieves fishing in SLO bank deposit boxes

Stickly traps being used in attempts to steal from San Luis Obispo banks
Posted at 7:10 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 00:02:35-05

Thieves are targeting bank deposit boxes in San Luis Obispo and police say there have been two recent attempts this week alone.

According to the San Luis Obispo Police Department, the thieves are using a technique called "fishing."

It entails using something as simple as a string and something sticky like tape or glue to see what sticks.

"Some years ago I actually heard about people doing it to mail boxes," said Mark Akers, a Cambria resident.

The two banks that were targeted this week were the Chase Bank on Chorro Street in Downtown San Luis Obispo and the U.S. Bank on Higuerra Street.

One of the traps at one of the banks is described as a rat trap and the other a sticky trap, but due to the similarities in each instance police say it is likely the same person is responsible for both attempts.

"In both instances... the traps were found still inside the deposit box. We are unsure if anything was removed, however, the traps were still found inside. So at the point we think it was just an attempt," said Captain Brian Amoroso with the San Luis Obispo Police Department.

Amoroso said while this has happened before in the pase, it is best to take deposits inside the bank to make sure the money falls into the right hands.

If and when you do have to leave a deposit outside, police recommend you look for anything suspicious and if you see something to please call the police or alert the bank manager.

It is for this very reason that it has led some to turn to online banking.

"Everything is done online. I can simply go to my cell phone and deposit my check, withdrawal any amount of money and do wire transfers... so the need for outside ATMs and a depository like that is just something I don't use anymore," said Akers.

San Luis Obispo Police said that if you have made a recent deposit outside at one of the respective banks, it is a good idea to check to make sure it is accounted for.