CROCKETT, Texas (KTRE) – Officers with the Crockett Police Department arrested two men Friday morning after an alert clerk at a convenience store called 911 and told the dispatcher he believed two men had installed a “skimmer” on one of the gas pumps.
According to a post on the Crockett Police Department Facebook page, CPD officers responded to a convenience store in the 1200 block of East Loop 304 at about 7 a.m. Friday about a panic alarm.
“When officers arrived, they were told by the store personnel that they suspected that the occupants of a vehicle currently at one of the gas pumps had installed a “skimmer” inside the gas pump,” the Facebook post stated. “A ‘skimmer’ is a device installed in gas pumps by criminals to steal a victim’s credit card and debit card information.”
As the CPD officers were talking to the store employees, the suspect vehicle started to leave, the Facebook pot stated. Officers quickly caught up to the vehicle and stopped it.
The vehicle was occupied by Juan Diego Caporales, 48, of Round Rock, and Juan Sobrino-Montero, 51, of Houston. The officers learned that Caporales had an outstanding felony warrant for credit/debit card abuse out of Williamson County.
“Officers were able to gain consent to search the suspects’ vehicle. Inside the vehicle, officers found multiple credit/debit cards that belonged to several different people,” the Facebook post stated. “Some of the cards had been previously reported stolen to law enforcement.”
The CPD officers also located multiple gift cards that are used by criminals to clone credit/debit cards using information obtained by the skimmers. Also, the officers found several actual skimmers inside the vehicle and multiple unused gas pump security seals.
Caporales and Sobrino-Montero were arrested at the scene and transported to the county jail. They were both charged with fraudulent possession/use of credit or debit card information, a third-degree felony, and unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a state jail felony.
“Officers would like to remind everyone to remain vigilant while using their credit or debit cards, especially at gas stations,” the Facebook post stated. “If the pump looks like it has been opened or tampered with, use another pump or use a different form of payment.”
The Facebook post also urged people to regularly check their bank accounts for any unusual activity. Any suspicious transactions should be reported to their bank and law enforcement.
Written by Gary Bass