BAY COUNTY, Florida (WMBB) – Three people were arrested on Friday for allegedly stealing credit card numbers at a local gas station.
During the week of February 8, the Financial Crimes Unit of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services – Agricultural Law Enforcement Office found a credit card collector at the gas station during a proactive sweep across Bay County. The unit then discovered that someone was tampering with the same gas pump.
During a search of the suspect’s car, investigators found several credit card skimmers – electronic equipment used to remotely recover stolen credit card data and cards with recoded credit card data.
Investigators arrested Tomas Bello, 48, and Nolsen Sendra-Gonzalez, 36, from Orlando, Florida, and Sergio Perez-Cairo, 33, from Miami.
With the help of the Lynn Haven Police Department, the suspects were arrested and transported to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford recommends that everyone use credit cards instead of debit cards when paying for gas at the pump. When using a credit card, the user has protection against fraud by the card administrator. When a debit card is read, the suspect can discover the PIN numbers that give the suspect full access to the account.
The public is also encouraged to examine the bomb before paying. Specifically, make sure that the tamper-proof tape is intact. If the tape is not intact, immediately notify the gas station attendant, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office or the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Finally, always check your card statements and have fraud protection in place. If you determine that there has been fraudulent activity on your account, notify the legal authorities and the credit card company.
Bello was charged with possession of a credit card extraction device, possession of theft tools, unauthorized access to an electronic device and criminal use of personally identifiable information.
Cairo was charged with possession of a credit card extraction device and unauthorized access to an electronic device.
Sendra-Gonzalez has been charged with four counts of possession of a credit card extraction device, trafficking in counterfeit credit cards and tampering with evidence.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected.