3 Charged in Debit Card Theft Ring Spanning Several States

Two of the three suspects are scheduled to appear in court on Monday

Three men have been arrested and charged for stealing almost $65,000 from ATMs in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

According to police, Tharushan Nirmalachandran, 30, of Quebec, Canada; Ajitharan Reveendran, 28, of Ontario; and Syed Hoque, 23, of Brooklyn, New York, were arrested on Saturday on suspicion of stealing money from ATM machines.

The beginning of the end for a group of suspected thieves was Friday night in Hudson, New Hampshire, when a tipster called police about a suspicious man spending too much time at the Digital Federal Credit Union ATM.

“We always say, in law enforcement, ‘see something, say something,’” said Capt. Kristopher McCarthy during a Sunday morning press conference in Methuen, Massachusetts.

Hudson Police arrested Hoque after finding thousands of dollars in cash and debit cards inside the car he was driving.

That investigation led authorities to the Days Hotel in Methuen where police say Hoque and the two other suspects were operating an elaborate theft ring.

“These gentlemen flew in from Toronto to Atlanta, rented three vehicles, one each, and traveled up the East Coast, ending up in Methuen,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy says the three men were using an illegal scanner device to load fake money onto stolen prepaid debit cards, and then using the cards to withdraw real money.

Investigators don’t know exactly how many ATMs have been ripped off, but they’re confident it’s more than just one.

“I don’t think you’re going to end up in Methuen from Georgia, I think there were several stops along the way,” McCarthy said.

Investigators found the trashed cards in the dumpster behind the Days Hotel. In total, police recovered about $64,000 in cash from the suspects’ vehicles.

What’s worse is that McCarthy thinks this is just the beginning.

“We assume once the banks open for business tomorrow, that we will see our investigation get larger,” he said.

The three suspects will be arraigned on felony theft charges on Monday.

It is unclear whether they have attorneys.

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