TEMECULA: Three arrested after ATM “skimming” investigation

TEMECULA – Three men were identified and arrested after a monthlong investigation into numerous incidents involving credit/debit card ATM skimming.

The trio, who are all related, were arrested after officials from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Temecula Police station and Anaheim Police Department served two search warrants at residences within the City of Anaheim.

After the service of the search warrants, authorities arrested Stefan Dumitru, 21, Ionut Dumitru, 18 and Florin Dumitru, 21. All three men are residents of Anaheim and were charged with conspiracy to commit identity theft, identity theft and possession of stolen property, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Jon Wade explained in a press release about the investigation and arrests.

The investigation into the men’s activities began in February, when Pacific Marine Credit Union Bank employees discovered what they believed to be an ATM skimming device mounted on an outside ATM at their bank. Sheriff’s officials did not specify which of two Temecula area PMCU banks were targeted by the men.

Bank officials contacted the Temecula Police Department and the skimming device was removed from the ATM and seized as evidence.

After the skimming device was removed, authorities conducted undercover surveillance of the ATM, with the intention of identifying and capturing the suspects when they returned to retrieve their illegal skimming device.

During their surveillance, sheriff’s officials detained the three men as they inspected the ATM and attempted to retrieve their card skimmer.

Officials ultimately released the trio so they could conduct further investigation into the men’s alleged illegal activities.

In March, Temecula Police officials teamed up with Anaheim Police officials to serve warrants at the men’s residences on East Lincoln Avenue and West Baylor Circle in Anaheim.

All three were arrested after the warrant services.

An online jail records search revealed the alleged suspects were booked into the Southwest Detention Center March 13.

All three men were released from custody the day after their arrests, after each posted $10,000 bail. They are all scheduled to be arraigned at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta May 8.

Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation or the three alleged suspects, should contact Deputy Hollingsworth at the Temecula Police Department (951) 696-3000. Callers can refer to incident file number TE170320076 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

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