(12/19/18) A husband and wife are behind bars after they allegedly used altered gift cards to withdraw money from ATMs in Texarkana.
On Dec. 9 Texarkana, Texas Police arrested 23-year-old Catalin Miclescu, 23, and his wife, 22-year-old Bianca Miclescu, 21, both of Houston.
A 16-year-old was arrested in a separate incident earlier that same day.
The crimes happened at two Red River Federal Credit Union locations, one in the 2700 block of University Ave. and the other in the 400 block of Walton Dr.
In the first incident a caller said that a man in a white sedan was attempting to use multiple cards at the ATM. In the second incident a gray vehicle was trying to complete a transaction using a stolen card.
In both cases the vehicles had fictitious license plates. The license plates had been covered with paper printouts that were attached over the real license plates using velcro.
Meanwhile, the 16-year-old was arrested after a brief high speed chase.
Officers found multiple gift cards, each with a small sticker with four digits that proved to be a PIN associated to different checking accounts in his vehicle.
Authorities also located a vehicle occupied by Catalin, Bianca and two small children who were asleep in the back seat.
The couple was taken into custody and the children were turned over the Child Protective Services.
The three arrests resulted in the recovery of approximately $18,000 in cash and an assortment of 217 gift cards that had been reprogrammed with victims’ bank account information to act like debit cards.
Officers also found hundreds of ATM transaction receipts from several financial institutions in northeast Texas.
It is believed that the bank account information had previously been obtained using skimmers in the Texarkana area and across the country.