They flooded New Jersey by the dozens, mostly coming from the Bronx and Brooklyn armed with bogus debit cards. They nearly returned home with tens of thousands of dollars stolen from ATMs throughout the state.
Police in a half dozen counties stopped them, though.
Here’s a snapshot of several theft crews captured in Monmouth County on Tuesday:
- A total of 29 adults, two juveniles;
- Eight from New Jersey. (broken down by county below)
- Two suspects from Teaneck and one from Hackensack in Bergen County
- Two from Union County and two from Newark in Essex County;
- One from Mountain Lakes in Morris County;
- And 23 out-of-state suspects from NYC, Long Island, Orange County, NY, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania;
- 53 indictable charges, mostly for credit card theft, conspiracy, computer crimes and obstruction;
- 15 disorderly persons charges;
- Two drug dealing charges;
- An unspecified total of stolen cash seized, along with numerous bogus cards.
The group of 31 suspects, busted by seven police departments in Little Silver, Englishtown, Freehold Township, Holmdel Township, Marlboro Township with the help of Old Bridge PD and Wall Township, were among about 100 suspects caught in the act by police throughout New Jersey on Tuesday, including at least 58 in Mercer County, 19 in Morris County, nearly a dozen in Sayreville (Middlesex County) and four in Bloomfield (Essex County)
Cliffside Park police captured 11 credit card theft suspects as reported here.
Daily Voice's initial breaking story was reported here.
Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said the thieves were able to exploit a glitch in ATMs belonging to Santander Banks, allowing them to use prepaid debit cards to make continuous withdrawals of cash.
The bank was alerted to higher-than-usual ATM withdrawals and eventually closed down its ATM locations.
Detectives from several county prosecutors' offices also were involved in this week's widespread busts.
“This is a great example of inter-agency cooperation and how it works to everyone’s benefit," Gramiccioni said. "These local police departments received the information about this growing scam from state and federal authorities and they kept a watchful eye that resulted in arrests."
Authorities are aware of multiple attempts that were made in municipalities across Monmouth County, but have not resulted in any arrests, Gramiccion said.
"Everyone involved did an outstanding job," the prosecutor said on Friday.
If anyone has additional information about this statewide scam, please call your local police department or contact Detective Sergeant Elethia Baldwin of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 800-533-7443.
Anyone who wants to remain anonymous can submit a cellphone tip to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers at 800-671-4400.
ALSO SEE: As the ATM arrests unfolded on Tuesday.
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