ROCHELLE PARK, N.J. – An exhaustive investigation by Rochelle Park police produced the arrests of a couple charged with using an ATM skimming device to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars by swiping personal information from unsuspecting bank customers’ credit and debit cards in New Jersey and New York, authorities said Thursday.
Notified that someone attached the device to the ATM at a West Passaic Street bank on March 12, detectives and patrol officers collected area surveillance video and identified a pair of suspects, Lt. Dean Pinto said.
They also released surveillance images to the public.
Police then watched Teck W. Gim, 28, and Wendy Gim, 39, for three weeks, learning that they “lived in Bloomfield and frequented an apartment in Astoria, Queens, taking the investigation into New York City,” Pinto said.
Rochelle Park police contacted the NYPD, which had several local ATM skimming incidents from the area of a particular apartment complex, the lieutenant said.
The skimmers, which are often unnoticeable, collect information from the magnetic strips of cards inserted into ATMs.
Identity thieves then use that information to pull cash or make purchases or payments for themselves -- or sell the information to those who will.
City police provided surveillance camera footage of their own showing Teck W. Gim to their borough counterparts. he said.
The pair was also involved in similar incidents around New Jersey, including in Verona, Pinto said.
Search warrants executed early Thursday produced their arrests, along with the discovery of “a large amount of U.S. currency and several items of evidence” that linked the pair to the crimes, he said.
Authorities also seized a 2016 Porsche Cayenne and a 2015 Ford Explorer for forfeiture.
“These officers did a fantastic job and spent hours waiting and watching the activity of the elusive suspects and helped solve many crimes around New Jersey and New York,” Chief Robert Flannelly said.
Teck Gim was ordered held in the Bergen County Jail, pending a bail hearing. Charges include various counts of possessing a forgery device, trafficking in personal identifying identification, ID theft and accessing computer data to defraud another.
Wendy Gim was released without bail pending a first court appearance on charged that include trafficking in personal identification.
Detectives who worked the case include Detective Sgt. James DePreta, Detective Chris Bermudez, Lt. Dean Pinto and Officer Jared Shatkin.
Assisting were Sgt. Ed Kukalski, Officers Brian Gallina and Brian Cobb, Bloomfield and Belleville police and Port Authority police.