A Queens man arrested by Rye Brook police last month has been indicted for using a skimming device to steal personal account information from ATM machines in Rye Brook and the Town of Greenburgh.
The Westchester County District Attorney's Office indicted 31-year-old Razvan Apostal, a Romanian citizen, and charged him with eight counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and one count of unlawful possession of a skimmer device.
Authorities became aware of Apostal's crimes after a customer at the Chase Bank in Greenburgh notified bank security that an additional camera had been placed above an ATM machine in the vestibule of the branch.
The bank removed the device, notified police and began an investigation. After viewing the bank's ATM surveillance video, Apostal was pinpointed as the suspect.
However, about a week later, Apostal committed the same crime at the Rye Ridge Shopping Center in Rye Brook.
Rye Brook police arrested Apostol on August 27 for alledgedly placing a skimming device on the ATM card reader at Chase Bank in the Rye Ridge Shopping Center, located on 150 South Ridge St. Apostol also installed a small video camera concealed within the reflective mirror above the ATM keypad, police said.
The camera allows identity thieves to record the personal identification number of anyone using the ATM, while the skimming device captures credit card and/or debit card numbers recorded on the magnetic strip of the card.
When police arrested Apostol, he had the skimming device in his possession. Police issued a search warrant for his vehicle and found eight counterfeit $100 bills.
Apostol is being held in Westchester County Jail and is scheduled to appear in Greenburgh Town Court on Sept. 17.
Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said Apostol's indictment will help prevent other bank customers from becoming victims of identity theft.
"The alleged actions by this defendant, placing skimming devices and cameras in ATMs to steal the personal bank account information of unsuspecting victims, undermines people's trust in day to day commerce," DiFiore said. "Identity theft is a continuing and growing problem and any time a perpetrator of this crime can be stopped, countless people won't become potential victims."