Police: ATM Scam Fails; Suspect Tries To Burn Out Credit Card

August 2, 2018

FAIRVIEW TWP. — A township man who tried to MacGyver cash out of an ATM used his own credit card as part of the rig and then tried to burn it out of the card reader when it got stuck, according to police.

Richard Leonard Waligorski Jr., 36, of 11 Pine St., was charged Wednesday with reckless burning and other offenses after his plan to withdraw cash using materials including an aluminum can and salt backfired, police said.

According to the complaint, officers were dispatched to the First National Bank at 46 S. Mountain Blvd. around 2 a.m. May 17 to a report of a man standing in front of the burning ATM.

When responders arrived, no one was in the area and the fire had gone out, police said. Officers found a piece of plastic jammed into the card slot of the ATM, as well as a small piece of blue plastic that appeared to have come from the machine, police said.

The ATM manufacturer removed the card reader from the machine and recovered a blue card that had a piece of metal affixed to it, police said. The metal covering had been fashioned from an aluminum can that was cut to the shape and size of a credit card, according to police.

The card was a Chase Slate card with no name or signature, but it did have an account number, police said. After getting a search warrant, police learned the card was belonged to Waligorski, the complaint says.

During questioning, Waligorski admitted he tried to steal cash from the ATM, explaining that he had discovered a way to scam ATMs by using a card, a wire, an aluminum can, salt and batteries, according to police.

But when the scheme failed, Waligorski knew he needed to get his card out, he told police. He initially went to his home behind the bank and got some pliers, but was unable to pull the card out, police said.

Then Waligorski got a can of spray enamel and sprayed it into the card slot, setting the enamel on fire in an attempt to burn his card, according to the complaint.

The charges allege Waligorski caused nearly $16,000 in damage to the ATM.

Police charged Waligorski with reckless burning, criminal mischief and attempted criminal mischief. Magisterial District Judge Ferris Peter Webby Sr. arraigned him on Wednesday morning and released him on $10,000 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 30.

Contact the writer:



Update hourly