The Chicago Tribune reports that at least one person walked away with thousands of dollars more than their requested amount from a suburban ATM. A faulty gear wheel reportedly caused the machine to dispense an extra $7,600 spread over three transactions on the same day earlier this year.

None of the three individuals informed anyone about the problem. They simply took the (stolen) cash and ran. A fourth person attempting a withdrawal told Kmart management there was something wrong:

It wasn't until a fourth transaction that a good Samaritan reported to the store's service desk that the ATM overdispensed $1,540, which the person gave back, the report said. At that point, the store took the machine out of service and the ATM company did an audit. The ATM company employee said they learned the machine was short $7,600, which did not include the $1,540 that was returned, Pawlisz said.

It could be a tall task to find the crooks. There is no store video surveillance of the machine, nor surveillance equipment inside the machine itself to record the users.

I had a slightly similar experience earlier this year. I ordered a relatively big-ticket item from Amazon and instead of having it delivered to my door, I requested it be sent to the nearby UPS store. No reason to leave a giant box on the front porch for any length of time. Imagine my surprise when one box arrived at the UPS store and another box arrived on my doorstep. Somehow Amazon had shipped two of my order yet only charged me for one.

Could I have kept the extra item? I suppose so. Did I? Of course not. I called Amazon and had it returned. It was the right thing to do.

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