Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bowling Crime: The ATM Bandit

One common method for enhancing the profitability of bowling alleys is to install privately owned ATM machines. This way, bowling alley owners can charge you fees for accessing the money you are going to pay to them anyway. Thus, it is a convenient way to turn your $20 into $22 for the lanes. It also gives incentive for the lanes to refuse credit cards, which not only establish a clear paper trail of gross proceeds (thus making tax cheating difficult), but also cost businesses a fixed percentage for every transaction made. In other words, having a cash only business with your own ATM machine has many benefits for the slimy business owner.

Well, slimy business owners, meet slimy ATM thief. David Pendergrast cleverly learned how to reprogram certain models of ATMs to dispense $20 bills while recording $1 transactions. To do so, he looked up default passwords on the internet and punched them in. By this technique, he is known to have stolen some $40,000. One of his targets was Hudsonville Lanes in Hudsonville, Michigan. Here's a tip to all you bowling alley owners charging patrons a couple of bucks to get their money: change the password on the machine before you fill it full of money.


  1. "So the combination is... one, two, three, four, five? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! The kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage! "

  2. I see your schwartz is as big as mine.


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