Detectives: Men Caught Skimming Cards At Local ATMs Belong To Venezuelan Crime Group

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Two Venezuelan men have been arrested on suspicion of skimming credit cards at several local bank ATMs.

On August 5, 2017, Sacramento County sheriff’s detectives arrested Luis Jose Ruiz-Gainza, 43, and Ricardo Gabriele-Plage, 36, of Venezuela for after two allegedly placed ATM skimming devices on several bank ATM machines and used the information they gathered to steal bank customers’ identities and withdraw money from their accounts, according to a statement from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

After detectives were notified of the crimes, which took place over two to three days in April, their investigation led to the discovery of skimming devices and high-definition cameras placed at ATM machines. The skimming devices would capture the card data, while the cameras recorded customers typing in their PIN numbers.

Detectives believe Ruiz-Gainza and Gabriele-Plage are part of a larger organized crime group made up mostly of Venezuelan nationals who are coming to the U.S. to put these devices on ATM machines. The two came here legally using passports via Mexico. During the period when the crimes happened, information about 450 debit or credit cards was stolen and about $20,000 was taken from victims.

Authorities urge anyone with suspicious activity on their account to fill out an affidavit of fraud with the banking institution. They should also submit an online report so it can be routed to detectives.

Click here to make an online report.

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