Hidden devices found on bank's cash machines in Narborough Road, Leicester
Criminals put hidden devices on a bank's cash machines to try to steal information that would enable them to raid customers' accounts.
However, quick-thinking members of the public alerted police who removed the devices before the crooks could get their hands on people's details.
The two devices were discovered on machines at branches of Barclays in Narborough Road, Leicester, at the weekend.
The first was discovered on Friday evening. The device contained a concealed camera which was pointed down toward the keypad and was designed to film customers keying in their PINs.
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Police believe the thieves' plan was to steal the victims' bank cards by distracting them while they were still at the machine, or by following them and attempting to pick their pocket or bag.
With the bank card and the footage of the victim keying in their four-digit personal number, the thieves would be able to withdraw cash at any bank machine.
Two men, both from Leicestershire, were arrested nearby soon after officers arrived at the scene.
On Sunday, officers were called to a Barclays branch in Narborough Road South where a customer had spotted a device which was placed over the card slot.
The device was designed to hold the card in the machine and fool the machine, and the customer, into thinking there was a fault.
The machine would shut down and the customer would believe their card had been retained by the machine.
Police believe the thieves were nearby, watching people as they entered their PINs and would return to the machine to remove the card once the customer had left.
Officers believe neither of the devices had been in place long enough for any customers to have been defrauded.
Sergeant Simon Barnes, of Hinckley Road police station, said: "The members of the public who called us have done a grand job in helping us prevent bank customers having their accounts cleaned out.
"This kind of crime is relatively rare and these are the first cases of their kind I can remember in a long time.
"If people are suspicious about something at an ATM we would like them to call us on 101 and we will go along and check it out."
City centre shopper Jane Welby, 34, of Clarendon Park, Leicester, said she took precautions when using cash machines.
"I always place my hand or my wallet over the hand I use to type in my PIN at a bank machine," she said. "I also try to be aware of who's around me when I'm using a machine.
A spokeswoman for Barclays said: "If a Barclays customer is the innocent victim of fraud they will receive a full refund."