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Man arrested, others sought in connection with ATM skimming scheme

Juan Colon Rivera, 30 (MDC)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police took one man in custody Tuesday morning and are looking for others involved in a sophisticated skimming operation aimed stealing bank card information from gas station ATMs around Albuquerque.

Police took one man into custody Tuesday morning and are looking for others involved in a sophisticated skimming operation aimed at stealing bank card information from gas station ATMs around Albuquerque.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, 30-year-old Juan Colon Rivera is charged with identity theft and possession of incomplete credit cards or machinery, plates or other contrivance.

Albuquerque police officer Simon Drobik said Rivera is one of at least four people police are looking for in connection with the skimming devices.

Police say officers were holding a briefing outside a gas station Tuesday morning where an ATM had been tampered with, when Rivera pulled up in a blue Chevy Impala.

“They were having a briefing and saw the car they were looking for,” Drobik said.

Police say detectives were tipped off to Rivera, and the blue Impala, on Friday when a gas station customer checked the ATM before using it, after seeing a warning about tampered machines on Facebook.

“She pulled on the card reader faceplate and it came off,” a detective wrote.

Officers viewed the security video and saw Rivera pull up in a blue Impala and walk inside with another man, according to police

Police say while the other man distracted the clerk Rivera placed a skimming device on the ATM.

Outside the same gas station Tuesday, officers arrested Rivera after he pulled up in the same Impala.

During questioning, Rivera denied being at the gas station before eventually admitting to being there after seeing the security video. He told police he tried to get money out of his account but was denied.

Police released a video Saturday showing two suspects, a man and woman, committing the same scheme, with identical skimmers, at a separate gas station.

The woman stood in front of the man, looking at lottery tickets, as he installed two devices: a green faceplate over the card slot with a skimmer that reads the magnetic strip and another piece placed above the keypad with a camera inside to read PIN numbers.

An ATM tech later found those skimming devices.

Drobik said those are the only two devices police have discovered so far, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others.

He said for anyone using an ATM to ensure it hasn’t been tampered with, and advised anyone with information on the other two suspects to call Crime Stoppers at 843-STOP (7867).

Police say these two suspects placed card skimmers on gas station ATMs around Albuquerque (Source: APD)

Police released a video Saturday showing two suspects, a man and woman, committing the same scheme, with identical skimmers, at a separate gas station.

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