NIXA, Mo. A 31 year-old Romanian woman with ties to an international crime ring has been indicted on a 49-count felony, accused of trying to steal credit- card information and money from people here in the Ozarks.
31 year-old Loredana Baceanu is from Romania, but she's currently spending her time in the Greene County jail for allegedly continuing a life of crime she's known for overseas.
She's accused of using card-skimming devices that are placed on top of the card-reader of a bank's ATM to illegally steal customer's card numbers, and then using that information to make fraudulent purchases with fake credit or gift cards.
According to a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. Western District Court in Springfield, Baceanu had 15 skimming devices and was first detected using one at a Central Bank of the Ozarks at 1800 South Glenstone in Springfield.
In late October a Southern Bank vice-president at 4308 South National told police she had discovered someone withdrawing large amounts of money from multiple accounts at four of their locations.
Baceanu was arrested in the heart of Nixa just off Mt. Vernon St. at a Southern Bank. Police were already there investigating her use of fraudulent cards in the past when an employee came in to tell officers that she had just spotted Baceanu in the back using an ATM machine.
At the time of her arrest,, Baceanu had 49 VISA and American Express gift cards that had been re-encoded with different account numbers. She had $880 hidden in her bra and the car she was in was being driven by her 14 year-old son.
A homeland security check of Baceanu revealed that not only was she in the U.S. illegally, but that she was also a part of an international crime ring of five women and three men who traveled throughout Wales in the U.K. committing more than 30 burglaries in five months, stealing money, laptops, phones, and jewelry.
They were all caught and Baceanu was sentenced to two years in prison in 2012.
It's not known how or why she made her way to the Ozarks, but she had been picked up and released by U.S. Immigration Officials in 2016 and was awaiting a hearing on her possible removal from the country.
Southern Bank, which helped catch the woman, say they do not believe any of their customers were impacted by the activity but is urging everyone to pay extra attention to your bank account activity.