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Credit-card skimming tools found after a citizen-reported sighting at Valero gas station in Goleta.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

Credit-card skimming tools found after a citizen-reported sighting at Valero gas station in Goleta.


Credit Card Skimmers Stopped in Goleta


After a citizen reported seeing two men tampering with a credit-card reader on a gas pump in Goleta, responding Sheriff’s deputies spotted the suspects’ van on the northbound 101. The Saturday afternoon event began at the Valero gas station on Calle Real, where the reporting individual said the two men were driving a U-haul with the windows and serial number covered.

The van headed onto the 101 at Fairview Avenue, and the deputy located it a short time later. As the view into the van was obscured, a 44mm sponge round was used to break the windows. No one was found in the rear of the van, but equipment used to skim credit card information was.

The two men in the cab complied with deputies and were booked into County Jail on charges of possessing a scanning device with intention to defraud, credit card fraud, and related activity. They were Harutyun Shahinyan, 24, of Los Angeles, and Carlos Lemus, 30, of Port Orchard, Washington. Neither was offered bail.

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