Man drives up to gas station, allegedly steals entire card reader at pump

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The suspect seen in a surveillance video is accused of taking the entire credit card reader at a pump of a gas station.

We often hear about thieves stealing our information by putting skimmers inside credit card machines.

But in this case, the suspect seen in the surveillance video is accused of taking the entire credit card reader at the pump - something Fresno Police say hardly happens in crimes like these.

"You're missing machine out there."

That is what a customer told Robert Gonzales five days ago. Gonzalez manages a Chevron Gas Station in downtown Fresno, and the customer had realized the card reader on pump number one was missing.

"I went to my cameras in the back and started reading," says Gonzalez.

Surveillance video shows the driver in a utility truck pulling up next to the pump on December 29 at 2 a.m.

In the footage, the person, seen wearing a hoodie and dark-colored pants, gets out of the truck and spends more than 10 minutes at the pump - leading Gonzales to believe they are responsible for the crime.

"As soon as they took off I see that the piece is missing," Gonzalez points out.

The card reader cost thousands of dollars and requires a key to access - a key Gonzalez says not even the store has.

"They can use that machine to program it and they steal people's credit card information," he says.

That is not something Richard Gatewood wanted to hear.

He often uses a credit to get gas without thinking about the potential risk at hand.

"It's a bit disconcerting because you never know if someone has the ability to get data from the system or use other people's cards," he says.

And police may have the ability to find the suspect quickly, because on the side of the vehicle in the surveillance video is a business name and phone number to an electrical handyman, who seems to be handy at the gas pump too.

Action News tried calling that number on the side of the utility, but was sent to voicemail.

Gonzalez says his customers should not have anything to worry about because the information on the reader will be wiped off after the thieves reprogram the device, which he believes they will likely do before installing it at another location to steal customer's personal information.
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gas stationtheftFresnoFresno - Downtown
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