SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A San Diego man who placed a debit card skimming device on a bank security door and trained hidden cameras on ATM machines so he could steal the PIN numbers of thousands of customers pleaded guilty Monday to identity theft, burglary and grand theft charges.
Daniel Axinte, 49, entered his plea on the day his preliminary hearing was to go forward.
The defendant -- who was charged with 25 counts -- faces a maximum of two years in state prison when he is sentenced Feb. 7.
In addition to placing the debit card skimming device on the security door of a Chase bank branch in Rancho Penasquitos, Axinte installed covert cameras to obtain the PIN numbers of unsuspecting customers when they punched their code into ATM machines at the same branch, prosecutors said.
Axinte is believed to have obtained the security codes for more than 970 ATM/debit cards, resulting in estimated losses of $300,000, said Deputy District Attorney Sharla Evert. Bank customers had no idea their personal information was compromised.
Evert said Axinte used reconfigured debit cards from the stolen personal information and withdrew money from the victims' accounts between January and July of last year, mostly in $500 increments. One victim had to get a new debit cards three times, the prosecutor said.
Chase bank notified the San Diego Regional Fraud Task Force of the series of crimes occurring at its branch on Black Mountain Road.
Prosecutors said a Chase investigator determined someone had been placing the debit card skimming device on the security door accessing the lobby of the Black Mountain bank and ATM machines. The bank investigator reviewed surveillance videos from the branch and determined the same suspect had installed the skimmer and cameras on five previous weekends.
Investigators from the fraud task force conducted surveillance at the branch and arrested Axinte late last July.
The San Diego Rescue Mission opened its doors to the homeless community on Saturday for its annual Thanksgiving celebration.
A man died after his body caught fire, police said Saturday. At 11:30 p.m. Friday, police received a call regarding a person on fire in a field near 5200 Pacific Highway in Mission Bay Park, according to the San Diego Police Department.
Hoping for the best but preparing for the worst, local business owners and first responders teamed up for an all-to-real feeling hazard drill on Saturday.
A 5-year-old girl who was abducted from New York by her 32-year-old mother, who does not have custody of the child, was found safe Saturday in San Diego, police said.
Before Saturday, Marine veteran Joshua Ray, his wife and six children had just one vehicle to use for all of their family business, and Ray had to take the train from Oceanside to San Diego every day to get to work.
A sea of pink will travel through San Diego starting Friday for the Susan G. Komen San Diego 3-Day. The 60 mile journey kicks off early Friday morning and ends Sunday evening at the final destination – the celebratory Closing Ceremony.
A man arrested on suspicion of committing a murder in Imperial Beach earlier this week remained jailed Saturday.
Spencer Abbott had two goals and two assists after missing two games and Eric Fehr scored twice in his debut with the San Diego Gulls in an 8-3 victory over the Tucson Roadrunners Friday night.
On Friday, a fourth woman came forward with disturbing allegations of sexual assault by a San Diego County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the bawdy hard rock band AC/DC who helped create such head-banging anthems as "Highway to Hell," ''Hell's Bells" and "Back in Black," has died.