7th May, 2021

Off-duty officer turned detective to uncover fraudsters

Maisie Jeynes 27th Jul, 2017

A POLICEMAN turned detective after discovering a card reading device attached to a cash machine in Stratford.

PC Craig Purcell was off duty when he found the reader hidden in the cash dispensing slot of the machine on Rother Street when he went to use it.

The devices are designed to read the card’s details in addition to the owner’s pin number being recorded.

The officer kept watch over the machine from a distance until someone finally showed up to remove the reader.

He followed the suspect to a vehicle and called the police who made an arrest.

PC Purcell told The Observer: “I rarely use cash machines these days but whenever I do I always pull on various sections of the machine with my fingertips to make sure no card reading devices have been attached.

“These devices are usually tailored to specific cash machines and blend in very well. Without a good pull to dislodge them you’d never know they were there.

“One minute I’m walking to the pub for a beer (off duty of course) and two hours later I’m finishing a statement with two people arrested and a cash machine card skimming device recovered.

“I met up with my wife two hours later than planned for a beer. She wasn’t happy but I got a pat on the back.”

Two 38 year-olds from London and Essex, were charged with being in possession of an article for use in fraud.

Both were set to appear at Leamington Magistrates Court this week.

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