THREE Romanian men involved in a plot to steal from cashpoint users in the Cotswolds have been jailed.

The trio were convicted by a jury at Gloucester Crown Court in May of conspiracy to steal by using cash trapping devices on ATMs in Stow and Gloucester.

Jailing them, Judge Jamie Tabor QC said they were part of an organised gang which had targeted Gloucestershire for repeated raids on bank machines over a period of 10 months ending in July 2012.

Flavius Novac, Costel Procopkiuc and Gheorghe Bechian had all denied conspiracy to steal between October 2011 and July 2012, but were found guilty after a four-day trial.

Prosecutor Paul Cook told the jury at the start of the trial that the scam involved sticking a fake debit card slot onto a cash machine.

A customer would put in a debit card and key in a PIN, but the notes would remain hidden in the device.

After a customer had left the scene, a gang member would recover the device and grab the money.

Novac, 23, of no fixed abode, was jailed for 14 months. Procopkiuc, 23, from Middlesex, received two years and nine months, and Bechian, 35, of Alma Road, Banbury, said to be the gang leader, was jailed for three years.

Judge Tabor told the trio he believed at least two other men – one of whom is on the run – were also involved in the cashpoint scam.

In October 2011, Bechian and Procopkiuc were caught in Stow defrauding an ATM and money was found scrumpled up in their car with two card trapping devices.

Another device with Procopkiuc’s fingerprints on it, was found in another part of the countryBut by April 2012 Bechian was planning further offences and Procopkiuc and another man were driven to Gloucester where there was ‘a concerted attack on ATMs’ in the city, said the judge.

Judge Tabor said: “This was organised crime over a lengthy period by a group of at least five of you. As far as I can tell none of you have shown the slightest remorse.”