Crooks with credit card skimmers hit Twin Cities ATMs
SHOREVIEW, Minn.—The Ramsey County sheriff's office is looking for the public's help identifying individuals caught on camera installing a skimming device on a Shoreview credit union ATM.
The suspects may also have installed skimming devices in other places across the Twin Cities.
The City and County Credit Union on Red Fox Road has two ATMs, which police say were fitted with skimmers several times between Sept. 23 and 27.
The bank reported the incident and told police over 100 people may have been affected, with a total loss in the tens of thousands of dollars, said Sgt. John Eastham, spokesman for the sheriff's office.
He said the suspects placed and removed the skimming device, which records a customer's credit card information, three separate times, sometimes wearing Halloween masks to hide their faces from the security camera.
"The guys that did this in Shoreview are techno savvy," Eastham said. "We believe they are not working alone."
He said they also may be involved in two thefts in Dakota County and thefts in Wisconsin and Texas as well. He did not know if they were local or just passing through.
The photos show a young woman standing at the ATM and a young man in a red Ford Windstar minivan.
The public is advised to look closely at any credit card device before using it to see if it is flush with the machine. A skimming device will stick out slightly or have a lip on it that makes it easy for the thief to quickly grab.
Some skimmers are equipped with pinhole cameras to record the customer's PIN number.
"They (customers) should physically cover up their hand with the other hand so the keypad is not visible at all from above," Eastham said.
He also advised people to report odd behavior, such as an ATM user wearing a Halloween mask.
The delay in the credit union realizing what happened has caused some difficulty for the police in tracking down the thieves, which is why they are looking for public input.
"The more information we get on these individuals, the more likely they will be caught," Eastham said. "We really need the public's help."
Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Tim Picha at (651) 266-7320.
Calls to the credit union were not immediately returned.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service