LIRR Warns of Baldwin Skim Scam, Release Suspect’s Photo


Long Island Rail Road officials are warning riders of a recently uncovered skimming device on a ticket vending machine (TVM) and are asking the public for help in finding the suspect they say is responsible.

The suspect, Vasile Ovidiu Haidau—a Romanian national who allegedly has ties an identity theft gang in California—fled MTA police officers when they spotted him tampering with a TVM at the LIRR’s Baldwin station at 5:15 a.m. Monday, authorities said.

TVM technicians last week discovered the device inside a credit/debit card slot in a Baldwin TVM as well as a tiny camera secreted above the keyboard that was videotaping as LIRR customers typed in their PIN, officials said.

MTA Police determined that the scammers hadn’t downloaded information picked up by either device, so they don’t believe that any LIRR customers who used that machine had their information compromised.

But, authorities urge the public to cover their PIN when entering it in a TVM or an ATM and check their bank accounts for suspicious charges.

As for Haidau, the 35-year-old suspect has a revoked visa and known to travel with another white male in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Long Island. He is not known to carry weapons, but should be considered dangerous. He was last seen driving a rented 2014 Blue Volvo S80 with NY license plate No. GXR5959 westbound on Sunrise Highway.

Anyone with information regarding this suspect is asked to call MTAPD Detectives at the at 516-222-6501 or 718-361-2201.