ST. PETERSBURG — On Monday evening, a man walked up to the ATM at a Regions Bank and slipped a tiny device over the card slot.
The device, commonly called a "skimmer" is designed to subtly steal information from the magnetic strip on a person's bank card. The man had been captured by security cameras. The bank called police.
"We set up and just waited for him to come back," said police spokesman Mike Puetz.
Sure enough, about an hour later, at about 9:30 p.m., the man returned to the bank, at 3505 Fourth St. N. He grabbed the device and stashed it in his car.
Police arrested Constantin Grigorescu, 34, of 10800 Brighton Bay Blvd. NE, on charges of ID theft, fraudulent use of personal ID info, scheme to defraud a financial institution and using a scanning device for fraud.
"In that (hour) at least five people used the machine," Puetz said. "Their identities weren't compromised."
That's because in order for Grigorescu to use the info from the cards, he first would have had to retrieve it from the device. Grigorescu, whose birthplace is listed as Romania in arrest records, indicated he was in the country illegally, Puetz said, so police also contacted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.