Three charged in connection with stolen debit card spending spree

Three Romanians have been charged in connection with an alleged €40,000 shopping spree with a Laser card stolen from a woman’s handbag.

Gardai revealed husband and wife, Costin and Constanta Colciu, were arrested at Dublin Airport on Monday as they were about to board a flight to Amsterdam.

A third man, Catalin Tatarsanu Miron, was later arrested at an address in Tallaght.

Gardaí have claimed a gang operated a so-called shoulder surfing scam – mostly targeting an older woman – by taking note of the shopper’s PIN number at supermarket checkouts as they paid for goods.

“They then approach their target in the supermarket car park and cause a distraction while an accomplice steals the card from the lady’s handbag,” said a garda spokesman.

“Incidents of this nature have been reported at various locations around the country.”

Some €40,000 was spent on one card which was stolen in Co Leitrim over a four-day period.

Detectives maintain 130 fraudulent transactions were made, with 84 pieces of CCTV from numerous locations secured and the users of the card recorded.

It is understood officers tracked the movements of Mr Colciu (aged 45) and his 35-year-old wife, when plane tickets were purchased on a card which had been reported stolen.

The couple, who lived at Ashfield Avenue, Kingswood Heights, Tallaght, appeared before Blanchardstown District Court on Tuesday on theft and fraud charges and were remanded in custody.

They are due to again appear in court later in the month.

Mr Miron, who is in his late 40s, was also charged by gardaí in Santry and released on bail to appear at Tallaght District Court on December 14.

A Garda spokesman said that since the beginning of October the cheque and payment card unit at the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation has been targeting criminals involved in the theft and use of payment cards from primarily female victims all around the country.

More in this Section

Covid-19: Elderly and vulnerable call helplines over 8,000 times in eight daysCovid-19: Elderly and vulnerable call helplines over 8,000 times in eight days

Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland: 'Coronavirus adverts must be accurate'Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland: 'Coronavirus adverts must be accurate'

Coronavirus: 36 more deaths from virus brings total over 200Coronavirus: 36 more deaths from virus brings total over 200

FF and FG to hold joint meetings with other party leadersFF and FG to hold joint meetings with other party leaders


Dr Gero Baiarda dispels the biggest misconceptions.10 coronavirus myths tackled by a GP

Indulging in a little comfort eating lately? Worry not – with Easter just around the corner Maresa Fagan looks at how chocolate can be good for your heart, head, and healthFive genuine health reasons to enjoy chocolate this Easter weekend

Currently digging your garden up? You’ve got the ‘grow your own’ bug.11 things you’ll know if you’ve suddenly become obsessed with growing your own

IN TIMES like these, when we are stuck in our houses, going out just for exercise and groceries, it can feel harder to find inspiration and motivation to make the most of the food we have already in our cupboards, fridges and pantries.Currabinny Cooks: Making the most of store cupboard ‘essentials’

More From The Irish Examiner