Maryland State Police and federal investigators are trying to identify a "tech-savvy" thief suspected of stealing more than $100,000 by intercepting ATM card numbers and passwords throughout the region.
Police believe the man is using an ATM skimmer that records the magnetic strip information on the card. An overhead camera, installed by the suspect at the ATM, is believed to be recording each customer's password, police said.
The account information is then cloned onto fraudulent bank cards and used to make unauthorized transactions. Police believe the thief has racked up more than $100,000 in such transactions.
Representatives from Sandy Spring Bank contacted state police last week and provided information they had gathered about the scheme, police said.
The man is believed to be operating in multiple counties and possibly surrounding states. State police said investigations involving similar circumstances were underway in Anne Arundel, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery counties. The federal Homeland Security Investigations is assisting in the investigation.
Police said Sandy Spring Bank is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the identification and arrest of a suspect.
The suspect is described as a male who is believed to be between 25 and 40 years old. Police said he is often seen wearing a button-down dress shirt, a sports jersey or sweatshirt, and a baseball hat. Police don't have information on what vehicle he may be driving.
First reports of the scheme surfaced in September, when a skimming device was found on a Sandy Spring ATM in Frederick County. A bank official told a television station at the time that he did not believe any information had been compromised because the device had been recovered.
By mid-October, a half-dozen incidents in Maryland counties had been reported.