Pixel Tracker

Sunday, December 9 , 2018, 11:17 pm | Fair 52º

 
 
 
 

2 Jailed for Allegedly Trying to Install ‘Skimming’ Device at Goleta Gas Station

Several pieces of equipment used for illegal collection data seized; Harutyun Shahinyan and Carlos Lemus booked into Santa Barbara County Jail

Sheriff’s patrol car and suspect vehicle. Click to view larger
Two men suspected of trying to install a credit card “skimming” device at at Goleta gas station were arrested Saturday afternoon by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

Two men suspected of trying to install a credit card “skimming” device at a Goleta gas station were arrested Saturday afternoon by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies.

At about 4:45 p.m., a witness called the sheriff’s dispatch center to report that two men were tampering with a gas pump and attached credit-card reader at the Valero station on the 5600 block of Calle Real, said Sgt. Daniel Calderon.

“The reporting party told dispatchers that the subjects were seen driving away in a U-Haul rental van that had the license plate removed, the U-Haul serial number covered with tape, and the side and rear windows covered with brown paper,” Calderon said.

The van was last seen entering northbound Highway 101 at Fairview Avenue, Calderon said.

The vehicle was located a short time later, and the deputy attempted to make a traffic stop.

The driver exited the freeway and pulled in to a parking lot on the 6400 block of Calle Real, where deputies ordered two suspects out of the van and took them into custody.

“Because the deputies could not clearly see inside the cargo van, the rear windows were shattered out using a 40-mm impact sponge round,” Calderon said. “The vehicle was then cleared and no other persons were found inside.”

Equipment used for ‘skimming’ Click to view larger
Several pieces of equipment used for ‘skimming’ or illegal collection of data off the magnetic strip on credit cards used for payment on the gas station pumps were seized during the arrests. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

A search of the vehicle turned up several pieces of equipment used for “skimming” or illegal collection of data off the magnetic strip on credit cards used for payment on the gas station pumps, Calderon said.

Harutyun Shahinyan, 24, of Los Angeles and Carlos Lemus, 30, of Port Orchard, Washington, were booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of possessing a scanning device with intent to defraud, credit card fraud, and fraud in connection with access devices, Calderon said.

Both were being held without bail.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Van with broken rear windows. Click to view larger
Because the deputies could not clearly see inside the suspect vehicle, the rear windows were shattered out using a 40-mm impact sponge round. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.