Chase Bank has shut down 24-hour access to some of its New York ATMs, citing “increasing crime and vagrancy.”
Select ATM lobbies close at 5pm or 6pm, more closely matching the bank’s normal opening hours tweeted in response to a complaint last week. A spokesman for JPMorgan Chase (JPM) said some other ATMs close at 10 p.m.
The changes only affect a “small number” of ATMs, according to the bank, which didn’t specify which and how many ATMs will no longer offer 24-hour service. Chase has several hundred stores in New York.
“We review our ATM hours on a case-by-case basis and may decide to temporarily close some overnight for a variety of reasons,” Chase said in a statement to CNN.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams addressed the early closure of ATMs at a news conference Monday.
“People don’t want to go into the ATM and see someone urinate … see someone scream and scream,” Adams said. “And that’s what I’m saying, I have to stop because I don’t want my ATMs to close. I don’t want people to leave our town. We need to create an environment where people are safe and feel safe.”
Some New Yorkers aren’t happy about the change.
“If we are tricked into using a bodega ATM to pay for our nightly slice of pizza because you cannot provide basic service to account holders, will you refund customers for their ATM fees?” said one customer tweeted.
Major retailers have been vocal about a rise in theft and “organized retail crime” since the pandemic began. Some started locking up toiletries and others added more security details.
But it may not be true — at least to the extent that retailers have been claiming it over the past three years.
Walgreens’ chief financial officer said “maybe we cried too much last year” over lost merchandise during an earnings call in January. The rate of shrinkage, or lost merchandise, due to theft, fraud, misscanned items and other errors decreased one percentage point to 2.5% last quarter.
Researchers say stores can quickly blame theft for retail shrinkage, although that may not be the case.
“Ensuring the safety of customers and employees has always been a top priority in the banking industry,” the New York Bankers Association said in a statement. “When problems arise, NYBA and our members are evaluating possible trends with the intent to work with banks, law enforcement and the local community on solutions.”
Overall crime in NYC rose 23.5% in 2022, although shootings and homicides have declined over the past year, Mayor Adams announced in December.
– CNN’s Matt Egan and Nathaniel Meyersohn contributed to this report.