KENNER -- Police arrested three men from Florida for allegedly placing credit card skimmers at a Kenner gas station.
According to the Kenner Police Department, two credit card skimmers were placed on gas pumps at the Discount Zone at 4045 Williams Boulevard on Dec. 1.
According to the gas station owner, surveillance video showed the three men drive up in a maroon minivan.
Police say one suspect entered the store to create a distraction, while another blocked the view of the gas pump so the third suspect could place the skimmers. However, the cashier was alerted of the skimming device when an error message appeared on his computer screen.
The store clerk removed the skimmers before notifying police.
"When we got the error message, we went to check and there was a skimmer there. We took out the battery from the skimmer so they don't get any information there that was saved or scanned on that skimmer," Mortaz Abuali, Discount Zone owner, said.
The cashier managed to get a picture of the Mississippi license plate and the minivan. The plate was detected by a Kenner Police license plate reader.
Based on their descriptions, police arrested three suspects on Dec. 4. 45-year-old Alfredo Gouirrie-Blanco, 34-year-old Sandy Alvarez and 35-year-old Yunior Rodriguez were all arrested for violation of the anti-skimming act. The men were at the Shell gas station on Airline Highway near the airport. All three men are Miami residents.
Police believe they caught the men before they were able to capture any credit card numbers at the Discount Zone.
"We don't believe they deployed these, but we certainly believe they were involved in other credit card skimming cases," Lt. Brain McGregor, of the Kenner Police Department, said.
The gas station owner says he is happy quick work by his cashier saved customers from having their credit card numbers stolen.
"This is like the best thing we can do for our customers to keep their trust," Abuali said.
The investigation is ongoing. Police say one of the men arrested had a gas pump master key in his possession at the time of the arrests.
Anyone with information is asked to call Kenner Police Detective Brad Ricke at (504) 712-2214, or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
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