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Long IslandNassau

Cops: Man used skimmer on Cedarhurst ATM

Nassau County police say a man used an electronic skimming device installed at a Cedarhurst bank to steal more than $8,400 from customer accounts.

Workers at JP Morgan Chase Bank at 446 Central Ave. called the Secret Service around 10:45 Saturday morning after they saw Mircea Popescu-Onea, 25, check the device, police said, and an agent stopped him as he tried to flee in a Jeep Compass.

Police later charged Popescu-Onea, of no known address, with larceny and unlawful possession of a skimming device.

ATM skimmers fit on top of legitimate card slots and store card information to be recovered later; they are often accompanied by cameras installed elsewhere on the ATM to record customers typing their personal identification numbers.

Police believe Popescu-Onea may have been working with an accomplice. Detectives said an unknown person installed a skimmer at the bank April 21. Popescu-Onea was observed installing another skimmer there May 5, which the unknown person later removed. A day later, that person installed yet another skimmer, which Popescu-Onea removed.

"We don't know who this person is and the defendant isn't talking," a police spokesman said.

Bank customers are encouraged to review their accounts and report any suspicious activity to bank representatives.

Popescu-Onea is scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead Sunday.

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