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Man accused of skimming ATM at Warsaw bank

December 4, 2018

A man is accused of defrauding a Warsaw bank by placing a skimming device on an ATM.

Tirlea Dumitru was arrested Friday after the FBI and Warsaw police conducted surveillance on Lake City Bank beginning Wednesday. The bank had reported a skimming device on an ATM on Wednesday, and authorities were waiting for the suspect to retrieve it, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne.

Dumitru pulled up to the Lake City ATM on Friday and drove off without having enough time to complete a transaction. Warsaw police followed the vehicle and stopped it on Kosciusko County Road 275 East, court records said.

Warsaw police identified the driver as the suspect in the bank surveillance footage who placed the device on the ATM.

He presented a United Kingdom driver’s license in the name of Tirlea Dumitru. No age was provided in court records, but he was described as being in his mid-40s.

He was wearing Nike eyeglasses similar to those the suspect wore in the surveillance footage. His vehicle was a 2018 Hyundai with an Illinois license plate. The front license plate had been removed, likely to avoid being detected on surveillance video, court records said.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Indiana, law enforcement has been investigating several reports of skimming devices being placed on bank ATMs as well as gas station credit card readers at gas pumps. The devices capture and store the credit and debit card numbers of unsuspecting victims.

The devices are eventually removed and the information from the skimming device is used to produce fraudulent credit/debit cards for unauthorized transactions, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Dumitru was in court Monday and asked for a Romanian interpreter. He is expected to be in court again today. He is charged with defrauding a financial institution and possessing access-device-making equipment.

jchapman@jg.net  

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