Police say suspects caught attaching credit card ‘skimmer’ to gas pump

Published 11:56 am Friday, September 13, 2019

Mississippi police have arrested two Texas men after apparently catching them attached electronic “skimming” devices to a gas pump at a station after it was closed.

Madison Police reported that a patrol officer spotted a man acting suspiciously at a closed gas station on Highway 51 in Ridgeland. It was just after 3 a.m. when the officer spotted the man.

As he and other officers investigated, they found two men in possession of a pry bar and other tools commonly used for burglary. Police also found an electronic “skimming” device had been attached to one of the pumps. Such devices allow criminals to capture credit card information from unsuspecting customers. That information can be used later to make fraudulent charges.

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Police arrested Darien Reyes, 31, of Houston, Texas, and Alfredo Avila Perez, 32, also of Houston.

Reyes was charged with unlawful use of a scanning device or re-encoder, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Perez was charged with use of a scanning device or re-encoder, possession of burglary tools, conspiracy to commit a felony and identity theft.

Perez was in possession of several gift cards, police reported. Investigators determined the gift cards contained stolen credit card data.

Both men were being held at the Madison County Detention Center awaiting an initial court appearance in Madison Municipal Court.

Officers said they checked all of the fuel pumps at all of the fuel stations within the City of Madison and no other electronic skimming devices were located.