Card skimmers hit Holmes Beach Citgo

Posted at 11:27 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 01:53:17-04

"We just saw the car. It was parked the other way and the gas tank was on the opposite side of the pump, so we could tell they weren't getting gas," said store clerk Matthew Mikhail.

The people in the car he's talking about were caught on surveillance camera installing card skimmers at a Holmes Beach Citgo.

"It's happened three times in the last week so we're pretty cautious around here," said Mikhail, who now checks all the pumps card readers when he arrives at work each day.

Mikhail says his manager first noticed something was wrong last week when one of the pumps stopped accepting credit cards.

After a closer look, inspectors found a total of three skimmers and another pump had been tampered with as well.

Soon surveillance video would peg two men working as a team to distract workers while the other ripped off customers by installing the skimmers. They were scene on camera placing the skimmers and picking them up.

"People sometimes come in and ask if we're safe now," said Mikhail. He says many customers are taking the safer route leaving the plastic in the wallet all together.

"It's happened all over the place and that's why I pay in cash without getting credit cards involved," said Uli Sauerlane.

Detectives plan to process the recovered skimmers for fingerprints and DNA. Managers at the Citgo hope the pictures do the trick, putting the fraudsters behind bars before the scam does anymore damage to the stores bottom line.

"The customers will go somewhere else, we'll lose them, it's kind of a downfall for everyone," Mikhail said.