Friendswood police believe pair arrested has link to Romanian 'gypsy' clan

Fabrizio Victor Slatineo
Fabrizio Victor Slatineo

FRIENDSWOOD, Texas – Police said they believe an 18-year-old Romanian national and an 11-year-old girl are part of a Roma clan that has been stealing debit and credit card numbers in the Friendswood area.

Fabrizio Victor Slatineo, accompanied by an 11-year-old Romanian girl, was stopped on suspicion of traffic violations Monday in Friendswood around 1:30 p.m. Police said they were alerted to the vehicle by bank employees after the occupants made suspicious ATM withdrawals at a local bank.

Slatineo was arrested and the 11-year-old passenger was brought to the Friendswood police station, where her mother was called to pick her up, according to police.

The 11-year-old girl was in possession of thousands of dollars in cash and credit card blanks concealed in a fabric pouch that was tied around her waist, police said. She was concealing the pouch with a full-length skirt, police said. All of the blanks were programmed with credit card numbers, according to police.

Police said they believe the pair is a part of a "Romanian Gypsy clan stealing debit and credit card numbers, cloning them and then going from bank to bank making thousands of dollars in cash withdrawals daily."

Slatineo and the 11-year-old refused to cooperate with authorities.

Slatineo was charged with possession of incomplete credit/debit cards. His bond was set at $60,000.

Slatinea’s Romanian identification was fake and he is wanted by Interpol, Friendswood police said.

The 11-year-old girl was taken by Children’s Protective Services after speaking with a woman who claimed to be her mother.

While Slatineo’s current charges are in Galveston County, Houston police and authorities in Harris County are currently investigating similar criminal activity in the Houston area.

In June 2018, police said three Romanian men were ordered to prison for their roles in the placement of card skimmers on ATMs and stealing money from bank accounts.