Video shows thieves placing card skimmer on device inside West LA gas station

WEST LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Authorities released surveillance video from a West Los Angeles gas station in an effort to warn customers about card skimming devices.

Detective Sean Williams with the Los Angeles Police Department said crooks are taking identity theft a step further by putting the devices in plain sight.

"Normally you'll see them on gas pumps a lot or at ATMS outside of banks," he said.

A man, who did not want to identified, said the security video caught two suspects in action last Friday night at his gas station. He said he knew something was wrong when the suspect covered a security camera with gum.

"You see the one guy distracting my cashier and actually got him to go out of the booth. That gave the other guy the minute to snap (the device) in place," the man said.

Police said the devices are used like a flash drive to store information. He said thieves will usually go back to the scene a few days later and pick it up.

He said as long as credit or debit cards are used, it can happen to anyone. Williams said people need to stay vigilant and check their accounts monthly, even daily, to make sure they do not become a victim of identity theft.

In the meantime, the gas station owner said he has added extra security measures and feels like he dodged a bullet.
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