A couple from Corby were caught red-handed on trying to steal money from people using a cash machine outside a shop.
Romeo, 38, and Viviana Cioropan, 25, both of Kensington Walk in Corby, appeared at Northampton Crown Court after having pleaded guilty to charges of theft.
Romeo also pleaded guilty to possession of items used in connection with card skimming, such as cash traps and a pin-hole camera, as well as videos of members of the public using cash machines.
The court heard that the pair were seen on closed circuit television cameras visiting a cash machine outside the Co-op in High Street, Desborough, a number of times on consecutive days in September last year.
Jenna Allen, prosecuting, said: “The defendant Romeo was seen attaching a trapping device to the cash machine.
“Money which was being withdrawn would get trapped by the device.
“They were seen on CCTV and the police were alerted and the couple were arrested at a nearby bus stop.”
Mrs Allen said the couple’s Corby home was searched and a number of devices used for so-called card ‘skimming’ were found.
These included cash traps and a pin-hole camera which would record people making withdrawals to record their PINs.
Videos were also found on the couple’s computer of people using cash machines.
Romeo Cioropan admitted being the owner of the skimming equipment, but said he had found the equipment discarded in his garage by someone who had lived in the same home previously.
The court was told Romeo had a previous conviction for possession of articles for use in fraud, given to him back in 2010.
Defence barrister Caroline Bray told the court the couple have three children, with a fourth due to be born within the next several months.
She added: “This was a crime of desperation.
“Mr Cioropan had been working for an agency but the employment was sporadic and he could not feed his family.”
Although not mentioned in the charge, the court was told that the couple had stolen about £120 using the cash trap.
Romeo Cioropan was handed a ten-month prison sentence for the offences. Viviana, who the court heard was about five months pregnant, was given a two-month sentence suspended for two years.