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Arvada police and Feds bust ATM skimming ring

Suspects stole hundreds of thousands of dollars
Posted at 8:19 AM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 10:19:00-04

DENVER — Two men are facing federal charges connected to an ATM skimming ring that targeted account holders in Arvada, Lakewood, Grand Junction and Thornton.

Gabriel Daniel Toma-Stoica was indicted Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Denver. An alleged accomplice, Daniel Mahu, was indicted in March. Toma-Stoica is believed to be connected to a skimming operation that siphoned over $200,000 dollars from Bank of the Midwest in Kansas.

The investigation in Colorado began after an Arvada woman noticed suspicious withdrawals from her account with Sooper Credit Union.

Arvada police obtained surveillance video that helped identify a vehicle as well as a suspect description. The vice president of Sooper Credit Union told police she believed the suspect was the same one linked to similar skimming incidents at branches in Lakewood and Grand Junction.

Eventually police were able to obtain a warrant to place a tracker on a vehicle. They began following the vehicle and in February, they saw a person drive to the Credit Union of Colorado in Thornton and install a skimming device on an ATM.

In questioning both Toma-Stoica and Mahu, Arvada police learned of a man named "Gogu" who is believed to be the leader of their organization, based out of Hollywood, California. Federal agents are still trying to find him.