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HARAHAN, La. – Six people with Florida addresses have been arrested for using a credit card skimming machine to try to steal information from customers of a gas station/convenience store in Harahan.
The incident occurred last Friday and Saturday at the Danny & Clydes located at 5861 Citrus Blvd.
According to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, officers went to the store on Saturday, July 31 after receiving a report of a skimming machine at one of the gas pumps.
A spokesman said that a cashier at the store found the devices attached to the pumps early Friday, July 31 as a daily check was being made.
Investigators used store surveillance video and found that about an hour and a half after the store closed at 11 p.m., a van drove into the parking lot and a man got out and spent some time at two different pumps. The man got back into the van and stayed in the lot for several minutes before leaving. The investigators believe that the suspects managed to unlock the gas pumps and attach the devices in order to capture information they could use to create counterfeit gas, credit and gift cards.
Late Friday night, two officers returned to the store to conduct surveillance and a van pulled into the business and a man, matching the description of the man in the surveillance video, got out and unlocked the pumps and discovered that the skimming device was gone. The man got back inside the van and fled onto Dickory Avenue. The van was stopped by the officers a short while later and they discovered four men and two women inside, along with numerous credit and gift cards. The subjects were taken in for questioning.
The spokesman said the subjects did not cooperate, but officers found out they had been staying at a hotel on Veterans Blvd. and executed a search warrant there were the officers discovered numerous gift cards, counterfeit cards, an encoding device, a laptop, iPad, a skimming device and an embossing machine.
Those arrested were: Jesus Enrique Gonzales Torres, H/M, 23, of 937 Palm Bay Dr. in Tampa, FL., Orlando Guillen Diaz, H/M, 29, of 16355 NW 88th Ave in Miami Lakes FL, Yoetnis Vazquez Pedrosa, H/M, 30 of 6700 N. Rome Lot 513C, in Tampa FL, Luis Rivera Garcia, H/M, 26, of 819 Palm Bay Drive in Tampa, FL, Yiliam Torres, H/F, 23, of 3540 Patsy St in Tampa FL and Juliet Perez, H/F, 22, of 819 Palm Bay Drive in Tampa, FL.
Rivera-Garcia, Vazquez-Pedrosa, Guilen-Diaz, Gonzales Torres and Perez were all booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center with one count each of Anti-Skimming, Computer Fraud along with 98 counts of Monetary Instrument Abuse. Yiliam Torres was booked with one count of Anti-Skimming, Computer Fraud and 58 counts of Monetary Instrument Abuse.
The sheriff’s office investigators are urging businesses dealing with gas pumps to inspect their gas pumps frequently. While doing so, please notify the authorities should you discover anything look out of place.