Detectives with the Riverside Police Department Economic Crimes Unit arrested two suspects allegedly involved in “skimming” schemes at various bank ATMs throughout Riverside.
Santa Ana residents 29-year-old Nicolae Adrian Masu and 26-year-old George Daniel Mirica were arrested for identity theft, transferring stolen identifying information, and conspiracy to defraud on Nov. 15.
The two men allegedly install skimming devices at various ATMs that capture card data and PINs, which can then be cloned onto another card. This scheme allows people to make fraudulent withdraws and transactions without the victims’ knowledge, a news release said.
Detectives, who have been investigating this case and similar incidents, observed the two men as they parked their vehicle near a Bank of America location on the 10200 block of Magnolia Avenue near the Galleria at Tyler shopping center.
Their SUV had a makeshift antenna attached that pointed towards the bank, a news release said.
Detectives identified the two men as the same suspects involved in other “skimming” incidents at the same bank location. During the prior incidents, the suspects obtained more than $10,000 from two victims.
Both suspects were later booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center but released several hours later after posting $10,000 bail, law enforcement officials said.
Authorities want to remind the public that they should avoid using ATMs that look unusual or have loose parts attached to it. ATMs that look suspicious should be reported to the bank and law enforcement.
Anyone with additional information regarding this specific investigation and arrests should contact Detective Michael Gomez at (951) 353-7115 or MGomez@RiversideCA.gov or Detective Javier Cabrera at (951) 353-7116 or JCabrera@RiversideCA.gov.
Anonymous tips can be shared by emailing RPDTips@RiversideCA.gov or by downloading the Riverside Police Department’s “Atlas 1” app.