Card clone scam cracked

AN eagle-eyed St Helens Council CCTV operator may have helped police to crack a bank card cloning scam.

Working with local police officers, the operator played a key role in apprehending two people suspected of running the operation.

During the early hours of one morning in April, the camera operator spotted two people acting suspiciously near a cash machine in Higher Parr Street, Fingerpost.

Police were dispatched to the scene, but found that the two innocent members of the public were simply trying to retrieve a cash card that had become stuck in the machine.

It soon became apparent that the cashpoint’s reader was a false one and a mobile phone had been attached – set to record any transactions.

The camera operator then quickly trawled back through old footage to find out who had fitted the devices and when a description of the culprits and their vehicle was passed to police, two arrests were made nearby.

A subsequent search of two properties in Bolton yielded more cloning equipment and a quantity of stolen goods.

Coun Richard McCauley, St Helens Council’s cabinet member for environmental protection and safer communities, said: “This incident dramatically underlines the benefits of CCTV – both to residents and local businesses.

“It also shows that we’ve got some very professional people monitoring what goes on in our communities who won’t hesitate to take the appropriate action when the need arises.”