ATWATER, Calif. (KFSN) --It is a crime that's becoming more common, thieves using devices to steal your bank information and your money. Atwater resident Julie Winebrenner said she recently experienced it firsthand.
"You feel like somebody came into your house and took everything you had. You feel violated, you really feel violated."
Atwater police said the search is on for a man who they said used a skimming device to steal thousands of dollars from hundreds of bank accounts.
Winebrenner said she was one of those victims. She said she went to the Merco Credit Union in Atwater to take out cash last Thursday-- on Monday, she received a call from the bank alerting her someone made a withdrew hundreds of dollars near the bay area. She said what's scary is that nothing looked suspicious.
"Did it look different, did it feel different-- when I was putting in the card was there like a catch, and there was nothing."
Atwater police say the suspect gained access to about 120 accounts stealing roughly $24,000. They say he was caught on camera last Thursday; he came back again the next day and took the device. They don't know what type of device he used but say the possibilities are endless.
"There's just different methods out there and they're getting more and more sophisticated," said Anthony Cardoza, Atwater PD Detective.
Another Atwater officer says he thinks he may have even been a victim after he says he got a call from the bank as well alerting him someone tried to take more than $400 out of his account.
"Hopefully we can find out who did it," said Sgt. Dick Wisdom, Atwater Police.
Police advise residents to look at the card reader and make sure it doesn't look out of the ordinary. Winebrenner said she plans to avoid is altogether.
"I'll probably go inside the bank and get the money that way."
We did go to the credit union but they declined to speak with us regarding the situation.
Police say the suspect could have left the county and they aren't sure if he's from the area.
Atwater police are asking anyone with any information on the suspect to call the department.