Alert Customer Finds ATM Card Skimmer at Manteca Bank

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MANTECA --

They’re both green and made of plastic, but one of two skimmers captured by surveillance footage is not like the other.

According to the Manteca Police Department, one of the devices can be used to steal personal information from unsuspecting customers.

“I think anybody that’s smart enough to know how to do that is smart enough to get a real job and make some real money legally,” said James Blazin, a Manteca customer.

Early Saturday morning, investigators said two young men were caught on surveillance installing their own skimmer at the drive-thru ATM at the Bank of Stockton in Manteca.

“Well in this circumstance, it was a drive-thru ATM, and so often people are in a rush,” said Sgt. Jodie Estarziau with the Manteca Police Department.

Six customers pulled out cash from the drive thru ATM, not knowing the machine had been compromised until one man noticed the plastic device was loose.

“Grabbed the card reader and wiggled it and it came off right in his hands,” Estarziau said.

The alert customer called police and gave them the skimmer. When officers came to the bank to investigate, they also found a small camera at the same ATM.

The skimmer reads the magnetic strip of the debit card giving crooks access to customers bank accounts. The camera records the pin numbers, “and they combine them together, they can get a lot of money,” Estarziau said.

Hours later, one of the two suspected thieves came back to the ATM to check on their work. But Manteca police were way ahead of them. When one of the suspects realized it was gone, the camera caught his look of surprise.

Now investigators are hoping someone will recognize the suspects.

While this type of crime doesn't happen often, Estarziau said there are ways customers can be proactive and protect themselves.

“If you don’t have to use the ATM, don’t. Go into the bank and get the money,” she advised.

When you can, cover the pin pad when you type in your personal information.

“Cover it with your hand. Literally, put it over the top of your fingers and put your code in," she said.

Estarziau said that police also checked out the other banks on North Main Street but did not find any other skimmers.