By Police Chief Fred Maas
December 16, 2014 — Once again, the safety of our community was enhanced when an alert and observant undercover detective from Sunny Isles Beach Police observed three (3) subjects trying to remove a card reader/skimmer from the ATM at a local bank. Sunny Isles Beach Police Department undercover detectives, conducting anti-Holiday crime surveillance, noticed the men trying to remove the device which they had attached to the ATM machine. Criminals do this in order to get credit card, account and pin numbers, and identity information on unsuspecting victims. Then the subjects remove the device after several days and now have thousands of compromised cards.
This well-known scam is difficult to catch because it usually goes undetected. Only the keen instincts of detectives helped capture the suspects in the act. They also had another skimmer/reader in their possession after their arrest. There is no telling how many victims would have been targeted should the criminals have successfully carried out their plan. It was a long holiday from Thursday to Sunday, meaning that thousands of people would have used the popular ATM.
Most people won’t even know how close they came to being a victim of identity theft and fraud. But due to the dedicated efforts of our Street Crimes Task Force, major heartache was avoided. The U.S. Secret Service follows up on all such activity involving fraudulent crimes and indicated they will be very interested in learning more about these criminals. Great job by all in this unit in keeping our city safe!