HAMILTON (Mercer) — Police say 20 people, mostly from New York City, were arrested at four ATMs on Tuesday as part of "suspicious activity" reported at Santander banks around the area.

Police in Robbinsville and Woodbridge confirmed the arrests Tuesday but referred questions about details to the FBI.

FBI spokeswoman Doreen Holder told New Jersey 101.5 in an email that "we are aware of the activity and looking into with our local and state partners."

Hamilton police spokesman Mark Watson said officers responded about 9:55 a.m. to a report of two vehicles parked at the Santander ATM on South Broad Street. Police said they learned of similar incidents around the state.

Officers were sent to three other Santander ATMs in the township and found additional vehicles and suspects during the day, according to Watson.

Police said they confiscated bank cards, cash, marijuana and a handgun.

Other incidents reported around Tuesday:

  • Lawrence police said four people were arrested and charged with using a fake debit card at the Santander bank on Princeton Pike.
  • Holmdel police said they arrested a Brooklyn man trying to fraudulently withdraw cash from an ATM on Main Street. He also had numerous ATM cards in other people's names, police said.
  • Wall police reported an "ATM scam" in which withdrawals were made using fake debit cards.

The Union County Prosecutor’s Office told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that the scam used Greendot cards that are loaded with $200 but a security flaw allows additional amounts to be withdrawn.

The thefts are still impacting access to ATMs at Santander to non-customers.

"Santander is pleased to report that following yesterday’s events, branches are open and ATMs are back on-line, though ATMs are open to Santander customers only for the time being," spokeswoman Laurie Kight said in a written statement.

"All Santander employees are safe, and we continue to follow our safety and security protocols at all our locations," she said. "Customers should know that there has been no impact to their accounts, data or funds, and we continue to cooperate with law enforcement as they investigate this situation."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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