An ATM glitch gave $37,000 to a homeless man in Maine, and despite giving it back the man could now face time behind bars.
The incident happened this week in South Portland. A woman waiting to use an ATM called police after a man seemed to be spending an unusual amount of time withdrawing money. Police showed up to find the homeless man shoving bills into a shopping bag.
The man said he was using his bank card to take out $140, but instead the machine kept giving out money every time he requested it, well beyond what was in his account. In all the ATM gave him $37,000.
“He was using his bank card to request more money, yes,” said South Portland Police Lt. Todd Bernard, who noted that police were familiar with the homeless man.
Police took the money back, and the bank was able to correct the error without affecting other customers.
But the man may not be so lucky. Police have yet to file charges, but said the possibility still looms that he could face jail time.
The homeless man’s fate caused a bit of controversy in South Portland. Some residents said it was unfair that he could still be punished for the bank’s error.
“Obviously he was kind of tricking the system a little bit. But it was partially their fault for not having the right security on it,” resident Sarah Howard told CBS 12 News.
Some say the don’t blame the homeless man for taking $37,000 from the ATM.
“If the bank was giving it, he wasn’t stealing it,” said Marcia Giancola. “He was just playing the slot machine, so to speak.”
Card holders who hope to replicate some of the homeless man’s luck may not have the chance. On Friday the ATM that gave $37,000 had a sign saying it was out of service.