LIBERTY, N.Y. -- New York State Police at the Liberty barracks arrested a man and a woman from Queens following an investigation into ATM card skimming, police say.
During the first week of November several customers of the National Bank of Delaware County reported to state police that their bank accounts were allegedly compromised, according to police.
The bank estimated total losses from these accounts at more than $20,000, police said.
Police investigated and determined that the accounts were compromised at the Liberty branch of National Bank of Delaware County during the weekend of Oct. 21, police said.
Video surveillance showed a man placing a skimming device on an ATM and retrieving it later in the day, police said.
During November, the same suspect placed a skimming device on an ATM at the Monticello branch of the bank, according to police.
On Friday, police were advised by bank managers that they had located a skimming device on the outside ATM at the Liberty branch, police said.
The device was reportedly left in place, and a team of state troopers began surveillance of the bank, according to police.
At 7:30 p.m., a man police identified as Dinu Gelu, 31, of Flushing, N.Y., was allegedly observed removing the device, police say.
Gelu was taken into custody without incident, as was an alleged female accomplice police identified as Ioana Colompar, 33, of Glendale, N.Y., according to police.
An investigation determined that Gelu and Colompar were allegedly involved in placing the skimming devices in October and November at the Liberty and Monticello branches, police said.
Following an investigation and the arrests, a skimming device, along with a remote camera were recovered as evidence, according to police.
Gelu was charged with 22 counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, four counts of first-degree scheme to defraud, felonies, and second-degree possession of a skimming device, a misdemeanor, police say.
Colompar was charged with two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny and two counts of second-degree scheme to defraud, according to police.
Gelu and Colompar were arraigned in the Liberty Town Court and held at the Sullivan County Jail with bail set at $200,000 for Colompar and no bail offered to Gelu, police say. Additional charges are expected, according to police.
State police remind people to be aware of their surroundings when using an ATM. If they suspect that an ATM has been tampered with, avoid using it and notify bank management and police.
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