PUYALLUP, Wash. - Credit card skimmers are targeting ATMs in the South Sound from Auburn to Thurston County.
Surveillance cameras have caught two pairs of thieves installing the skimmers at different card readers and ATMs in Auburn and Puyallup.
One instance where two alleged thieves were caught on video happened at a Puyallup gas station as a clerk was waiting on them.
It is easy to miss even when you watch the video. You see the two men at the counter of this Chevron Gas station. One man is making a purchase; his partner seems to be doing something with the ATM pad on the counter.
"The first time I watched, I was watching the person that was making the purchase, thinking, 'How did this happen?'" said Puyallup police Capt. Ryan Portmann.
Portmann admitted it took a second look for even him to see what the alleged thieves were actually doing.
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"After I watched it a second time, I was able to see the other suspect just kind of, like, casually playing with the PIN device," he said. "And as you watch, you can see he's just sliding it over the top there."
Puyallup is not alone. Auburn police posted the photos of these two men. They managed to get away with $3,000 stolen from several people who used the rigged machines. ATMs at America's Credit Union in Pierce and Thurston counties were hit, too.
"Certainly, the detectives will work with the detectives from those agencies and see if there is any correlation between those devices, our suspects, (and) their suspects." Portmann said.
He says anyone who uses a card reader or an ATM has to be alert.
"When you go to use the PIN pad, if it doesn't look right or it feels funny, if it's flimsy at all, look for those types of things," he advised.
The good news for customers of this Chevron is that the clerk spotted the skimmer before anyone used it, but they are very upset about this here. They worry that news of the crooks trying to skim people here will hurt business.
They also very much want the men caught. Anyone who recognizes any of these men is asked to call 911.
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