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Cashpoint fraudsters caught with help from public

Two fraudsters who tried to scam the public out of cash via an ATM scam have been sentenced after they were caught with the help of three community-spirited people.

Cash machine

Manchester Police arrested 33 year old Marinel Codreanu, and 35 year old Daniel Caldararu of Cromwell Avenue, Rusholme who both admitted the fraud.

In July a man tried to use a cashpoint at the Post Office in Manchester but when the machine swallowed his card he stayed at the scene for half an hour, whilst on the phone to the bank, warning other people not to use it.

While this was happening another member of the public became wary of the two offenders, who kept returning to the area. He spotted them remove a device from the cashpoint and called the police. He followed the men, who ran off in different directions when they saw police arriving.

Hiding in some bushes

The witness chased one of the offenders, Marinel Codreanu and detained him. He then walked him back to the police and told them that he had seen him throw something away during the chase.

Police officers searched the area and found a device that had been fitted to the cashpoint. The device would have been used to record ATM users entering PIN numbers.

Another witness who had seen the two offenders being chased by police later spotted Daniel Caldararu hiding in bushes. She pointed out his whereabouts to a police dog handler and he was also later arrested.

Pivotal role in helping detain both fraudsters

Sergeant Mark Gingell, said: “Without question the three witnesses have prevented local residents falling foul of this scam and played a pivotal role in helping us detain both fraudsters.

All three are equally worthy of praise and their actions were without doubt exceptionally public spirited.“It is almost impossible to tell sometimes when an ATM has been tampered with so we would always urge people to disguise as much as possible their PIN when entering it at machines and if they have any suspicious at all to ring the bank and police.”

Manchester Crown Court sentenced Marinel Codreanu to 15 months in prison and Daniel Caldararu to six months on 1 October 2013.

For further information on the research visit the Manchester Police website.

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To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

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