Cashpoint thieves caught

A STING operation to catch a gang of bank machine fraudsters has landed three in jail. Romanian nationals Costica Baluta, 28, Costica Bajor, 37, and Ghiorghita Dumitru, 24, were each jailed for two years by Snaresbrook Crown Court last week after being fo

A STING operation to catch a gang of bank machine fraudsters has landed three in jail.

Romanian nationals Costica Baluta, 28, Costica Bajor, 37, and Ghiorghita Dumitru, 24, were each jailed for two years by Snaresbrook Crown Court last week after being found guilty of fraud.

Baluta will serve an extra six months after he was caught with a knife at the scene.

The fraudsters used what is known as a "Lebanese loop", a device they attached to the bank machine that retained customers cards and filmed them typing in their PIN numbers.


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After complaints from families about illegal activities at the Barclays ATM in Faircross Parade, Barking, Sgt Andrew Larkin of the Longbridge safer neighbourhood team (SNT) set up the stakeout.

Along with Sgt Brian Fry and PC James Garrett from the borough's safer transport team (STT) and Eastbury SNT, the officers watched the area.

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Sgt Larkin said: "We had noticed that a number of offences had been occurring at this branch and we are pleased that this team has been put out of action for the foreseeable future.

"I would remind bank machine users to be vigilant.

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