Jailed man had offended in King’s Lynn

Court news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter
Court news from the Lynn News, lynnnews.co.uk, @lynnnewscitizen on Twitter

A man who took part in a conspiracy to steal bank cards from ATM machines while on bail for similar offences in Lynn has been jailed.

Rares Pop had pleaded guilty to two charges of theft from ATMs in Lynn, one of fraud and one of making or having an article for use in fraud.

And at Warwick Crown Court he, and fellow Romanians, Ovidiu Circiu and Petru Bratu all pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal bank cards.

Pop, 21, of Birmingham, was jailed for 12 months for the Lynn offences, with a consecutive 12-month sentence for the conspiracy.

Circiu, 26, of Friday Bridge Camp, March Road, Wisbech, was jailed for 12 months, and Bratu, 22, of Birmingham, for 14 months.

Prosecutor Ian Speed said that last August a woman in Nuneaton had her card stolen by Bratu after it became stuck in an ATM. He used it to take £400 from another machine, although his attempt to use it in a supermarket failed.

A few days later a CCTV operator alerted the police to three men acting suspiciously around the ATM at Barclays in Nuneaton town centre.

When officers arrived they arrested them after Pop was found to have a chisel, part of a false card slot and a tube of glue on him.

Bratu had the keys to a car parked nearby, in which the officers found a screwdriver, pliers, a Stanley knife, razor blades and more glue.

Judge Peter Carr observed: “It was plainly an expedition to tamper with ATM machines and steal bank cards.”

Mr Speed pointed out that Pop was on bail at the time, having been arrested in Lynn for similar offences.

When he was questioned he admitted he had gone there with items to ‘skim’ bank cards and had installed a device in an ATM machine.

He said he had then stayed in the area to keep watch on it until a man tried to use it.

When the man left after his card was retained by the device, Pop said he retrieved it and a camera phone he had placed to record the man entering his pin number.

Pop then used the card to withdraw £250 and another card obtained in the same way to withdraw £140.

Andrew Tucker, for Pop, said: “So far as Mr Pop is concerned, he made a full and frank admission to the police when arrested in Norfolk.

“The activities they were engaged in involved another man who has never been arrested and who had recruited them both to assist him.”

Both men come from a relatively poor part of eastern Europe and had come here to improve their financial position and that of their families.

“Mr Circiu had lost income in this country during August because he was unable to work through sickness and was tempted by the prospect of an alternative mean f making some