A 20-year-old who planted 'skimming devices' to fraudulently capture personal data from a debit or credit card at ticket machines on the London Underground has been jailed.
Alin-Cristi Lazar of Luther Close, Edgware was caught following an investigation by British Transport Police (BTP), after devices were used at Gloucester Road, Notting Hill Gate and Canary Wharf tube stations over a one month period.
Lazar pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing articles for use in fraud and was sentenced to 12 months behind bars at Blackfriars Crown Court .
His imprisonment will be at a Young Offenders Institution and each of the counts will run concurrently.
On April 11 this year, station staff at Gloucester Road station were alerted to a skimming device on a ticket machine.
The device, which allows personal and financial details to be exploited, was forensically recovered by BTP officers.
The following month on May 3, a second device was found at Notting Hill Gate underground station.
The following week, a third was found at Canary Wharf.
Forensic and CCTV evidence was obtained to assist detectives with their investigation and through finger print evidence officers were able to identify Lazar as a person of interest.
Extensive CCTV enquiries followed, and identified Lazar as being behind planting the devices.
He was arrested on November 3 and charged with three counts under the Fraud Act.
The sentence was welcomed by BTP's detective constable for Serious and Organised Crime Matt Nolan.
DC Nolan said: "Fraud is not a victimless crime and can have disastrous consequences for those innocent members of the public who have their identities exploited or money stolen.
“Lazar thought he was being smart by planting devices at different stations throughout the network.
"However, what he did not realise is that we police use a CCTV rich environment and were positively able to link him to each location.
“We have officers who specialise in investigating this sort of crime. We welcome this sentence and will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that this sort of criminality on the network is stopped.”
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