10/12/2009

Three Charged Over Card Thefts

Three Romanian nationals have been arrested in an investigation into a series of card thefts.

A 45-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman - believed to be husband and wife - were arrested at Dublin airport on Monday as they prepared to board a flight to Amsterdam, while a third man in his late 40s was arrested in Tallaght later.

Gardaí claimed that the gang had opted a scam known as 'shoulder surfing', which involved targeting a victim - usually older women - at supermarket checkouts and noting their PIN number as they paid for their purchases.

They would then approach their chosen victim in the carpark and cause a distraction while an accomplice would steal the card from the woman's handbag.

Incidents like this have been reported all over the country. It is understood that, in one such incident, around €40,000 was spent on one card, which had been stolen in Co Leitrim, over a four-day period. A total of 130 fraudulent transactions were recorded on the card during this period.

Eighty-four pieces of CCTV footage were recorded at numerous locations around the country, which recorded the users of the card.

All three are due to appear again in court later this month.

(KMcA/BMcc)

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