Four men were arrested in an ATM skimming ring based in Sacramento on Tuesday, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies responded to a Sacramento-area bank Feb. 15 after they received a report of a skimming device installed on an ATM. The deputies notified the Sacramento County Hi-Tech Crimes detectives, who found similar devices on ATMs in Folsom and in the Reno area, said department spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton in a news release Friday.
After an investigation, detectives found the skimming devices had all been placed by the same group of people – Vlad Chitas, 29, Laurentiu Andreica, 31, Sandor Csaba, 38, and Lucian Lazar, 33 – and had compromised the information of roughly 40 Sacramento-area residents, Hampton said.
Chitas, Andreica, Csaba and Lazar were arrested Tuesday after detectives identified the vehicle one of the men was driving when he committed the crimes.
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Upon arrest, deputies learned all four men lived together in downtown Sacramento and obtained a search warrant for their residence, Hampton said, which resulted in the seizure of 20 ATM skimming devices, recording devices built to be concealed at ATMs, re-encoded debit and credit cards, manufacturing equipment needed to build more skimming devices and computers and other equipment needed to re-encode debit and credit cards.
Chitas, Andreica, Csaba and Lazar were taken to the Sacramento County Main Jail on charges ranging from unlawful use of personal identifying information, conspiracy to commit a felony and identity theft. Jail records show all four men were being held without bail on Friday night.
Hampton said detectives will conduct a follow-up investigation, as information found during the initial investigation showed the suspects may have been active from Arizona to Washington since December 2018.