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Wed, Sept. 18

Gas pump skimming suspects indicted by Arizona grand jury
Seven skimmers found in Prescott, Prescott Valley in 2019 so far

Top row l-r: Juan Cespedes-Martinez, Bladimir Thomas Rodriguez and Jesus Chavez Cespedes. Bottom row l-r: Rene Chavez Valdivia, Dadiel Lopez Garcia and Leosvani Rodriguez-Rojas. (Arizona Department of Transportation)

Top row l-r: Juan Cespedes-Martinez, Bladimir Thomas Rodriguez and Jesus Chavez Cespedes. Bottom row l-r: Rene Chavez Valdivia, Dadiel Lopez Garcia and Leosvani Rodriguez-Rojas. (Arizona Department of Transportation)

A state grand jury has indicted six men accused of running a credit card gas skimming ring in the Phoenix area.

They have been charged with fraudulent schemes and artifices, conspiracy, illegally conducting an enterprise, computer tampering, organized retail theft and taking the identity of another person.

Their alleged participation involved a scheme to purchase diesel fuel for resale with stolen credit card information between April 11, 2018, and December 20, 2018, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

The investigation was performed by the Arizona Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (ADOT) in partnership with the Kroger Company Organized Retail Crime Team and the Attorney General’s Office.

In February of 2018, ADOT detectives discovered tractor trailers at a private storage lot being fueled from hidden auxiliary fuel tanks contained on the trucks. The investigation identified several individuals and seven load vehicles with auxiliary fuel tanks allegedly involved in the scheme.

The individuals are accused of obtaining stolen credit card information, which was encoded onto a new card, and using the card at the pump to purchase fuel, according to the Attorney General’s Office. The indictment alleges that on 31 separate occasions, the enterprise used the credit card information of about 40 people at 12 different gas stations in the Phoenix area including Circle K, Fry’s Fuel, Shell and QuikTrip.

So far in 2019, 40 skimmers have been found in Arizona fuel dispensers and reported to the Arizona Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures.

Six of those were found in Prescott and one was in Prescott Valley (see map below) at the following locations on the following dates:

  • Three at the Chevron at the intersection of Willow Creek Road and Smoke Tree Lane in Prescott on April 1.
  • One at the Texaco at the intersection of Sheldon Street. and Arizona Avenue. on April 2.
  • One at the Circle K at the intersection of Highway 69 and Prescott East Highway on April 9.
  • Two at the Good 2 Go at the intersection of Willow Creek Road and Willow Lake Road on April 10.

If you believe your credit card has been compromised, the Federal Trade Commission recommends reporting it to your bank or card issuer. Federal law limits consumers’ liability if their credit, ATM, or debit card is lost or stolen, but the liability coverage may depend on how quickly the loss or theft is reported.

To view an updated list of fuel dispenser skimming devices found in Arizona, click on the list thumbnail on this article page or go to the Arizona Department of Agriculture Weights and Measures website and download the PDF near the bottom titled “Arizona Locations Where Skimmers Have Been Found.”

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