A man has been jailed for his part in callous frauds that involved hundreds of pounds being stolen from elderly bank customers.
Dimitru Bosnia, also known as Dumitru Constantin Maxin, also known as Andrei Olaru – aged 41 – pleaded guilty to six charges of fraud and one charge of theft at York Magistrates Court on 13 June 2017.
Bosnia targeted victims in Bedale, Northallerton and Thornaby, working with a woman called Ramona Ilie, 30.
The offenders observed bank customers type their PINs into cash machines, and then obtained their bank cards – on one occasion using a distraction technique to trick their victim. They then used the stolen cards in Bedale and Northallerton, and subsequently in Richmond, Darlington and Thornaby.
Their offending came to light when North Yorkshire Police officers traced a vehicle linked to the pair, and CCTV footage of the suspects was circulated nationally. Ilie’s name was put forward as a possible suspect. In September 2016, she left the country, but returned on a flight into Edinburgh Airport on Thursday 15 December, where she was refused admission to the country and detained. North Yorkshire Police officers travelled to Edinburgh to arrest her.
A distinctive tattoo on her right ankle matched that on the CCTV images, and Ilie was charged and remanded in custody. Ilie pleaded guilty to theft and fraud by false representation at York Crown Court, and was sentenced to eight months in prison, on Friday 13 January 2017.
North Yorkshire Police publicised Ilie’s conviction, and following that publicity, Bosnia was identified as a suspect.
At the time, he was serving a two-year jail sentence for unrelated offences. Officers travelled to London to interview him, and he was subsequently charged.
Bosnia was jailed for 40 weeks, to be added to his current sentence.
PC Alastair Gill, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “This nationwide investigation shows the lengths to which North Yorkshire Police will go to identify criminals and bring them to justice. Bosnia and Ilie callously targeted vulnerable elderly people, putting them through a terrible ordeal. I hope these jail sentences act as a strong deterrent, and provide some measure of comfort to their victims.
“I would also like to reinforce the importance of being vigilant when using a cash machine or chip and PIN terminals. If you are at all concerned about the people near you, trust your instincts – walk away and come back later or use a different machine.”