Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is advising residents that devices known as “skimmers” have recently been found in the Bartow, Mulberry, and Haines City areas.
PCSO and the Bartow Police Department are currently investigating fraud complaints related to skimming devices that were placed on two Publix ATM's (one in Bartow, one in Mulberry), and two Mid-Florida Credit Union ATM's (one in Bartow, one in Haines City).
Skimmers are device readers that criminals put on ATM’s or other card readers (such as on gas pumps) that customers use to swipe their debit or credit cards. A trained eye can detect if a skimmer has been placed on such a device.
Skimmers are almost always accompanied by tiny cameras that record the customer entering his/her PIN number after swiping the card. Law enforcement agencies work hand-in-hand with business owners to examine their card readers and see if skimmers have been placed within them. A well-trained eye or physical inspection of the device is key to locating a skimmer.
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time, nor the last time, that we will see this trend in our county. Criminals are placing these skimmers on ATM’s all across the state. Our best resource for catching criminals like these is you – the public. We need your eyes and ears. Let us know if you see anything suspicious on a card reader or an ATM, or if you recognize the suspect seen here. Together, we can stop this crime trend.” – Sheriff Grady Judd
The persons of interest seen here in the attached photos were captured on video surveillance possibly placing skimmers on the aforementioned ATM's.
If you can identify these persons of interest you are urged to contact the Bartow Police Department, PCSO, or Heartland Crime Stoppers.
ANYONE WITH INFORMATION WHO WANTS TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS AND BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CASH REWARD IS ASKED TO CALL 1-800-226-TIPS or LOG ONTO www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com. ANONYMITY IS GUARANTEED! iPhone and Droid users can download a free tip submit app to anonymously report crime. To install these free apps, please visit www.tipsoft.com.