Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives and Pasco Police are warning you to be on the lookout for a ring of credit card skimming suspects. They are asking for any and all help to identify and locate them. These surveillance photos were taken at a bank in Silverdale in February where the suspects used stolen bank account numbers to withdraw $29,000. Detectives say they have been very active as recently as a week ago in the Gig Harbor area. Previous cases have uncovered that some suspects involved are Romanian or Lithuanian natives with Hungarian passports and do not have a Driver’s License in any U.S. State. It’s possible they are staying at an Airbnb or an overnight hotel. Call 911 immediately if you spot them.
If you see someone standing at an ATM for a long time, call 911 immediately. They spend up to 15 min taking out cash.
Pasco Police Det. Julie Lee is also investigating this ring of credit card skimmers. The Tri-Cities bank ATM’s were hit with two separate groups from February 2nd through February 19th. Victim’s cards were used March 16-18th in multiple counties including Chelan, Kitsap and Yakima. The heavy set male suspect was in Montana 3 weeks earlier with a different guy. The female suspect you see in the photos was also captured on ATM video in South Dakota on February 2nd.
The suspects are working in separate groups of 3 and using different vehicles. The blue Honda with plate BAU712 was purchased late last year but the title was never transferred. The Van in the photo has WA Plate 615YVK and was purchased in Vancouver, WA one day before they used it in the Chelan, Kitsap and Yakima area. Again, title was never transferred. Call 911 if you see either car. Call Det. Lee at (509) 544-3080 ext. 6055 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any info on the suspects.
The entire state of Washington has seen an uptick in “skimmer” activity. The Washington Attorney General’s Office sent out a notice this month to law enforcement warning about the increased incidents of fraud activity related to skimmed credit card data. Detectives say the couple in Kitsap Co. and Gig Harbor is part of that problem.
Skimmers are placed on a variety of terminals, to include gas pumps, ATM’s and they keypad swipe inside gas stations as well as retail stores at malls. After the skimmers are placed, crooks are able to transfer the data via a Bluetooth app, that data is then transferred to a home office where the fake cards are generated. Cards and equipment are sent via UPS or FedEx to the group assigned to areas. The cards come with sticky notes that have the bank name and the account Pin#’s on them. They typically will have a P.O Box at a UPS store or Post Office with a possible fictitious name. They buy cars off of craigslist for cash; use the car for a week or two then they will abandon the car randomly in another City of State. The perpetrators will stay in hotels but not likely in the city where they are using the ATM’s, they move to another city to stay.
If you have information that can help detectives identify them, submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound at www.P3Tips.com or by using the P3 Tips App that you can download to your phone for free. You will receive a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the case.