Woman’s quick thinking prevents robbery at Lake Wylie ATM

adouglas@heraldonline.comMay 23, 2013 

A 31-year-old woman trying to deposit cash at a Lake Wylie ATM on Wednesday night was nearly robbed by a man with a pistol at the Bank of America on S.C. 557, according to a York County Sheriff’s Office report.

The woman, Roxanne Gardner, told deputies that she was at the drive-through ATM, talking on the phone with her son around 10:27 p.m. when a man approached her car with a gun.

Quick “fight or flight” thinking got Gardner out of the situation, she told The Herald.

She had just gotten back inside her car after picking up money she’d accidently dropped out of the window, Gardner said.

A man with a gun approached her car window just seconds after she’d picked up a phone call from her son, she said.

“I answered the phone, turned around and he was there.”

At first, Gardner said, she thought it was some sort of joke.

Then, the man demanded her phone.

“I looked down and saw a gun,” she said.

She shifted her car to drive and went to a nearby Burger King parking lot to call police.

The would-be robber did not get away with any money or Gardner’s cell phone.

Sheriff’s detectives are reviewing video surveillance from the incident to try to identify the man.

Law enforcement officials have lifted fingerprints from her car, she said, in hopes of finding some clues.

“I would have never thought in Lake Wylie that would happen,” Gardner said.

Being robbed is something she’d expect in Charlotte where she works, she said, not in an area like Lake Wylie or Clover.

Gardner thinks the man asked for her cell phone instead of cash at first because he was afraid someone might hear the robbery on the other end of the call, she said.

She’s glad she kept the phone and sped off, she said, because he could have jumped in her car and the situation would have escalated.

Her lesson, she said, is to never let anything distract her at an ATM, including picking up a phone call.

Her advice, she said, is for others to “always be aware.”

Anna Douglas •  803-329-4068

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