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Cashpoint-scam pair to be deported
12:30pm Tuesday 19th February 2013 in News
TWO Romanians who disabled cashpoints at a Worcester city centre bank will be deported after they have served jail sentences.
Bungling Alin Novac and Stefan Ghita were recorded on CCTV as they approached three machines outside Barclays.
They disabled the bank card slots so that customers would use another machine rigged to extract their account data, said Paul Whitfield, prosecuting.
The men, who were members of a gang, then walked to a car driven by a third man but the trio only got as far as the city police station where the car was stopped by officers. Novac, aged 22, of Windmill Road, Coventry and 24-year-old Ghita, of Burnaby Road, Coventry, pleaded guilty to possession of articles for use in theft and three counts of damaging property.
Jailing them both for 15 months, Judge Robert Juckes QC said he hoped the sentences would be a deterrent to others. Because the terms were over 12 months, the men would qualify for automatic deportation.
The defendants were wearing hoodies when they were filmed outside the bank on December 2 last year, said Mr Whitfield.
One kept watch while the other man used tools to damage the cashpoints and force them to close down.
Police found pliers, chisel, scissors, glue and a screwdriver in the getaway car.
Novac had eight previous crimes of dishonesty on his record and had served a 20-week sentence for possession of skimming devices to read customers' bank cards.
Ghita had 12 previous convictions and had been caught in 2011 with a device to evade security measures in shops and facilitate theft.
Defence counsel James Varley said they were typified disaffected men who come to Britain and then find themselves stranded without being able to work or claim benefits.
If they had waited until January next year they would have been able to work legally under EC provisions.
"They had become ripe for exploitation," said Mr Varley. "They had come to Worcester in a borrowed car and were very much foot soldiers. The sentences will reverberate quite loudly in their community."