Pair who used hidden camera in a bid to steal pin numbers at King’s Cross station jailed for 3 and a half years

Mihail Tache

Mihail Tache - Credit: Archant

A man and a woman who used a hidden camera to try and steal people’s pin numbers have been caged for three and a half years.

Andreea Petrovan

Andreea Petrovan - Credit: Archant

Mihail Tache, 36 and Andreea Petrovan, 23, were handed 28 months and 16 months respectively after pleading guilty to possessing articles for use in fraud.

The pair had attached the camera and a “skimming device” to a ticket machine at King’s Cross St Pancras Tube Station in a bid to clone unsuspecting passengers’ credit card details.

But just four hours after they attached the devices, an eagle-eyed British Transport Police (BTP) officer spotted the scam.

He left it in place, and undercover police then kept watch on the machine.

Pc Mark Pink, who discovered the device, said: “Tache and Petrovan placed a tiny pin-hole camera above the machine’s keypad to record customers as they entered their pin.

“They then placed a duplicate card-reader over the top of the credit card slot to ‘skim’ the card’s electronic chip. This two-part device would have given them all the information they needed to copy cards and fraudulently use them.

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“When I found a device on the ticket machine, I left it in place in order to catch those responsible, while plain clothes officers carried out covert surveillance.

“It paid off, because barely four hours later, Tache and Petrovan returned and removed the device. Our officers moved in and arrested the pair – the ‘skimmer’ was found in Tache’s bag, along with a knife used to remove it.”

CCTV cameras at the station revealed the pair attached the device to the machine that morning.

During sentencing, Judge John Hillen thanked the BTP for their good work and preventing further crimes.

Tache, of no fixed abode, and Petrovan, of Scholars Walk, Hatfield, were sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on September 8.