They flooded New Jersey by the dozens, coming from the Bronx, Brooklyn and Westchester, armed with bogus debit cards. They nearly returned home with tens of thousands of dollars stolen from ATMs throughout the state.
Police in several counties stopped them, though.
Here’s a snapshot of one of several theft crews captured in New Jersey on Tuesday:
- Eight adults, three juveniles;
- 47 indictable charges, mostly for identity and credit card theft;
- 10 disorderly persons charges;
- $3,335 in stolen cash seized, along with various bogus cards.
That group, busted Cliffside Park, was among several suspects caught in the act by police throughout New Jersey on Tuesday, including at least 19 in Morris County, another 19 in Mercer County and nearly a dozen in Sayreville.
Cliffside Park police captured the 11 suspects as they went in and out of a Santander Bank. They’d been at it for over an hour, spacing out the visits and withdrawing modest sums of cash so they wouldn't attract attention, authorities said.
The crews had cloned debit cards in other people’s names that allowed them to pull cash from ATMs at Santander branches in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut through a glitch in the system, authorities said.
Santander branches in New York City alone had more than 600 bogus transactions on Monday, police there reported.
Law enforcement officers in Bergen, Hudson, Essex, Morris, Middlesex, Mercer and Union counties and elsewhere were on the lookout for the crew, whose members apparently met on social media.
The posses included prosecutor's and sheriff's officers and local police.
Cliffside Park police arrested two accused thieves at the Santander Bank on Anderson Avenue before chasing down the rest on foot, Deputy Police Chief Vincent Capano said.
Several arrived in a white Dodge Caravan with Texas license plates, witnesses said.
"They didn't all go in at once," Capano said. "One would go in, then another, over the course of an hour or so."
Police found them carrying a few thousand dollars in stolen cash, along with several cloned cards in other people's names that they used to withdraw the money.
They were charged with various counts of identity and credit card theft among other charges.
The lone “local” was identified as Dany D. Clermont, 21, of Liberty Street in Jersey City.
Police identified the other adults as:
- Jardiel Meade, 22, of Brooklyn;
- Jeramiah D. Gomez, 19, of the Bronx;
- Aboubacar Fofana, 18, of the Bronx;
- Edward J. Smith, 24, of the Bronx;
- Lakiyah D. Blake, 20, of the Bronx;
- Victor L. Demitris, 25, of Harlem.
Also taken into custody was a 16-year-old boy from Mount Vernon and two 17-year-old Bronx boys. Police issued delinquency complaints against them.
All were released pending court action.
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