A man has admitted stealing almost €13,000 in cash from two women who were tricked at separate ATM machines in Dublin.
A court heard that in both incidents, the women had been withdrawing cash when someone told them they had dropped a €10 note.
When they turned around, their bank cards were swapped for different ones without their knowing.
The culprit then used the stolen cards to make various transactions at shops, post offices and off-licenses, much of it in foreign exchange, totalling €12,795.
Dan Cirpaci (26) is awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to stealing €200 in cash from Anne O'Reilly at an ATM on Merrion Road, Dublin on November 17, 2012.
He further pleaded guilty to stealing over €898 from Ms O'Reilly at Blackrock Post Office, Blackrock Main Street in Dublin later the same day.
The father-of-one, originally from Romania, also pleaded guilty to stealing €899 at Leonard's Corner Post Office and a further €899 at Rathmines Post Office from Valerie Casey on November 19, 2012.
The court heard that Cirpaci, with an address at Temple Hall, Parnell Square, Dublin 1, faced a total of 30 counts. He pleaded guilty to four, with the rest to be taken into consideration.
Judge Desmond Hogan remanded Cirpaci on continuing bail for sentencing on November 18.
Garda John Clancy said Ms O'Reilly, who was aged 79 at the time, was withdrawing money from the Bank of Ireland ATM on Merrion Rd when she heard a voice behind her saying she'd dropped a €10 note.
She looked around and saw two men and a child pointing to a €10 note, which she picked up.
Ms O'Reilly took a card from the machine thinking it was her own, but two days later she got a call from the bank querying all the transactions that had been made on her card over the weekend.
In total, €6,670 had been taken from her account.
Days later Valerie Casey, a middle-aged woman, was withdrawing money from an ATM in Sandymount when the same trick was played.
When she went into the bank the following day to lodge a cheque she discovered she didn't have her bank card. €5,520 was taken from her account in various transactions.
Cirpaci was identified on CCTV footage waiting in a car at both ATMs. He was also caught on camera using the stolen cards to make all the unauthorised transactions.
He was arrested and initially denied the charges but eventually accepted his role. He has been in Ireland for 10 years and was in receipt of social welfare of €186 a week.
He has 43 minor previous convictions including theft, handling stolen goods and public order offences.
Breffni Gordon BL, defending, gave two reference letters for Cirpaci to the court, one from an employer who has given him part-time labouring work, the other from a Romanian Pentecostal priest.
He said his client had separated temporarily from his partner at the time of the offences and had gone on a drinking and gambling spree.
Both women were reimbursed the stolen money by their banks.