New skimmers found on ATMs at Indianapolis banks

Thieves caught on surveillance camera at bank

INDIANAPOLIS - New skimming devices have been confiscated by police at ATMs on the south side of Indianapolis, where bank workers describe two crooks who were already being sought for placing other devices on machines throughout Indiana.

Police were called to the Fifth Third Bank at 2020 E. County Line Road, where workers said two devices were found on their ATMs on Wednesday afternoon.

After checking surveillance video from the machines, bank workers told police that the skimmers were placed by two men who were driving a dark colored Chevy Uplander minivan. The driver was described as an overweight white male, while the passenger appeared to be wearing sunglasses and a thick mustache.

Police have gotten several recent reports of skimming devices being placed by thieves matching that description and driving the same car.

In May, Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana published surveillance photos from a similar crime at the Fifth Third Bank in the 6000 block of East 82nd Street.

In that skimming crime, investigators said the devices attached to the ATM allowed thieves to obtain the debit card and PIN number for one customer, whose account was promptly drained.

Police reported the same pair is believed to be responsible for placing skimming devices on banks in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Portage, Ind., in recent weeks.

A skimming device was also removed from a bank along the Broad Ripple Avenue shopping strip earlier this month, but it was unclear on Friday whether that crime was related to the two men pictured in the recent surveillance video.

In the latest skimming devices on East County Line Road, police said both men appeared to be wearing latex gloves on both hands to avoid leaving fingerprints. Officers also said the vehicle’s license number was obscured on surveillance video, just as it was in the other crimes tied to these men.

A Crime Stoppers officer, who has been monitoring all of the recent skimming devices, said criminals typically target a specific model of ATM because their devices fit those machines and blend in better. That means they could be singling out a particular chain of banks to ensure that their device will garner as little attention as possible.

Skimming devices transmit card information from ATM transactions directly onto a criminal’s laptop, sometimes as he is parked in a nearby lot or across the street. Many skimming device thieves have also installed cameras nearby to record the customer punching in their PIN that corresponds with the card. 

The FBI has posted warnings about how to spot skimming devices on ATMs, while pointing out that some crooks have drained more than $1 million from unsuspecting customers’ accounts. Agents warn bank customers to watch out for loose or cracked parts, or tape holding parts together, near the spot where debit cards are inserted into the machines.   

The FBI says heavily traveled or tourist areas are especially vulnerable.

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