Will Cleveland city council pass an ATM smash & grab law anytime soon?

Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-03 10:25:42-05

Cleveland's City Council said late last year they would put a law in place to stop smash and grabs.

Three months into 2017, there's still no law. 

“There's a lot of work involved to rebuild where the damage was," said West 117th Street convenience store owner Khalid Klobe after his west side store got hit in the spring last year. “You learn as you go, experience, that's what experience is, doing everything in my power to secure the store more."

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And he did. He put up cement barriers, also called bollards, right in front of the store.

It's something other cities facing a growing number of smash and grabs now require store owners do.

“The ones that have put the bollards up in front of the doors are not experiencing any kind of problem,” security expert Rob Reiter told News 5.  He said those bollards cut ATM smash and grab rates almost completely. After News 5 brought this to the Cleveland City Council’s attention, members proposed legislation requiring stores to install barriers and take other measures for protection.

That was December. It's now March, so why haven't council members taken action?

Cleveland Councilman Anthony Brancatelli proposed Cleveland’s legislation. He said he hopes to start hearings by April. But he's also waiting for state lawmakers to take action.

"If it weren't for the state stepping up now and saying they're going to do statewide, it would have been passed already. But we want to work closely with the state,” he said.

State Representative Tom Patton said Cleveland should move ahead on its own. 

“I've encouraged Cleveland to go ahead with their law,” he said.

He explained their legislation is different so there’s no need for the city to wait because the proposal in front of the Statehouse just requires ATMs to be at the back of the store and be bolted down.

"The bollards...we haven't even contemplated that,” he said.

The map below shows a list of smash and grabs that occurred from June 5, 2016, to Jan. 11.