• Two suspects arrested by JSO in connection to a multi-state skimming ring

    By: Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Putnam County Sheriff's Office will hold a press conference Monday regarding details about a two-month-long investigation into a Romanian skimming ring.

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    The Putnam County public information officer said the skimming ring affected more than 80 Putnam County residents and more than 300 residents in Jacksonville, Keystone Heights and Newberry as well as residents of Southeast Georgia. 

    The Florida's Office of the Attorney Generals website has information on the process on what to do in an identity theft case and how to clear your name


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    Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation, which the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said helped result in two suspects being arrested by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. 

    Elena Matei, 35, and Plopsor Matei, 18, are facing charges including three counts of use or possessing a skimming device to defraud, criminal use of personal identification of 30 or more victims, fraudulent use of a credit card and three counts of bank fraud. 

    The two arrested are a local aunt and her nephew.

    Investigators say they followed the pair for months as they put skimmers on ATMs at local banks from in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.

    Action News Jax reporter Ryan Nelson spoke to people who say they're glad the two were arrested 
    “I’m just glad they got caught, that’s unfair,” said Norma Jean Williams of Jacksonville. 

    Investigators say they tracked their moves for weeks, as they went from banks, to their home in Mandarin, to the Atlantic Aelf-Storage on the southside. 

    The arrest report says the two compromised hundreds of credit and debit cards and stole at least $50,000 from multiple banks at Capital City and SunTrust ATMs. 

    Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson says this crime makes stealing easing for criminals. 

    “There can be a tremendous number of victims. There can be a tremendous financial gain. And then you don’t have to confront anybody,” said Carson. 

    Carson tells us investigators often have a tough time tracking down those responsible. 

    “This can be done at night with sunglasses on in front of an ATM machine,” said Carson. “And if they don’t get a picture of the tag of the car it’s going to be difficult to run them down. And that’s why they had to devote so much energy and manpower.”

    The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office will hold a press conference Monday. Our cameras will be there as investigators reveal more about this scheme. 

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