Police arrest 2 people suspected of planting card skimmers on SLO County ATM

Police arrested two people suspected of planting skimming devices on an ATM in Grover Beach on Wednesday.

The Grover Beach Police Department arrested Catalin Constantinescu, 43, and Stefan Costache, 56, on suspicion of planting multiple skimming devices in a ATM, the department said in a news release. The duo is from Romania, police said.

Police said the skimming devices are “used to capture personal identifying information of cardholders that is later used to commit fraud and identity theft.”

On Tuesday, police officers removed a skimming device from a Bank of America ATM at 1564 West Grand Ave., according to the release. The next day, police found another skimming device planted in the same ATM, which they believe was planted early that morning, according to the release.

While patrolling the parking lot Wednesday afternoon, officers spotted Constantinescu and Costache approaching the ATM.

Officers detained one of the suspects, but the other escaped in his car, according to the release. Officers then stopped him when he entered Arroyo Grande. Police said at that time, they found the necessary evidence to arrest both suspects.

The pair was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of $200,000 bail.

They were arrested on suspicion of charges of theft of identifying information, conspiracy to commit a crime and fraudulent possession or use of a skimming device, according to the jail booking log.

Anyone with information about the investigation can call the Grover Beach Police Department’s Detective Bureau at 805-473-4570.

The San Luis Obispo Police Department and San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office assisted with the investigation.