Three Romanian nationals have been jailed for attaching a card-skimming device to a cash machine in Chester city centre .
Iliuta-Gheorghe Balica, 32, and Ionut Bunoaica, 22, both of Chester Road, Liverpool, and Liviu Zagorschi, 33, of Dovey Street, Liverpool, were jailed at Chester Crown Court on Thursday, November 30, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal.
Police were called by a member of the public to an ATM on St Werburgh Street, on October 30, after their card didn’t emerge from the machine and they noticed a skimming device and a camera on closer inspection.
ATM skimming is like identity theft for debit cards. Thieves use hidden electronics to steal the personal information stored on the card and record the associated PIN number to later access cash in the account.
Officers arrested the three men after stopping the car they were travelling in a short time later.
Balica was sentenced to 12 months in prison and Bunoaica and Zagorschi were jailed for 13 months.
Chief Inspector Mike Evans said: “As result of the fantastic information we received from the member of the public these three men are now behind bars.
“Card skimming is always a serious crime because of the organisation required to carry it out. We are pleased that these men are paying for trying to make easy money.”