Two men arrested for attaching skimmers at Goleta gas station

Posted at 1:33 PM, Jun 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-24 16:33:37-04

Two men were arrested Saturday for allegedly tampering with a gas pump and attaching a skimming device at a Goleta gas station. 

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says a caller reported two men were tinkering with a credit card reader at the Valero gas station on the 5600 block of Calle Real around 4:45 p.m. 

The caller said the two drove off in a U-Haul rental van with no license plate, tape covering the U-Haul serial number, and windows covered with brown paper. 

Deputies were able to pull the van over. The sheriff’s office says it was "quickly determined that the two men were involved with tampering of the gas pump."  

Deputies hancuffed 24-year-old Harutyun Shahinyan, of Los Angeles, and 30-year-old Carlos Lemus, of Port Orchard, Wash., and put them in the deputy’s vehicle. 

Since deputies couldn’t see inside the van, they reportedly shot out a window, then were able to see several pieces of equipment used for skimming — illegally collecting data off the magnetic stripe on credit cards. 

Shahinyan and Lemus were charged with possession of a scanning device with the intent to defraud, credit card fraud, and fraud and related activity in connection with access devices. Both are being held without bail. 

This is a great time to remind the public to be aware of credit card skimmers. The video below and this story written by an NBC affiliate shares some tips of how you can detect a skimmer.