A gas pump at Kwik Chek Exxon convenience store in Marble Falls was closed after a credit card-skimming device was found attached to it. Staff photo by Connie Swinney
FROM STAFF REPORTS
MARBLE FALLS — Authorities removed a credit card-skimming device found inside a gas pump at a Marble Falls station April 24. Investigators believe the culprit might have had a key to open the equipment without disturbing the seal.
The incident was reported at 11:52 a.m. April 24 at the Kwik Chek Exxon convenience store, 1003 RR 1431.
Police arrived at the store after an attendant called to report an issue at fuel pump No. 6.
“They found out in two different ways,” Marble Falls Police Capt. Glen Hanson said. “The gas station inspects its pumps every week.
“They did have one customer call and say they had a fraudulent charge,” he added.
Investigators believe the device might have been inside the fuel pump since April 19.
“Some of the devices are made to fit on the outside (of the pump),” Hanson said. “If someone opened the pump to place something inside, somebody would have had to have a key to open it up to keep from breaking the seal.”
The seal is placed to alert employees and customers to possible tampering with the pump. A key, however, could allow the perpetrator to get into the pump without disturbing the seal.
Authorities might also use surveillance footage to try to track down a suspect.
“It was a pump that faces away from the building,” Hanson said. “We will collect (the skimmer) as evidence and process it for any fingerprints or DNA evidence, if that’s possible.”
Unfortunately, customers might have had no way of knowing someone had tampered with the pump by looking at it from the outside.
“If people will remember whether they got gas there (since April 19), then they should look at their statements,” he said.
In some cases, closer inspection of a fuel pump can uncover signs of tampering, including a broken seal, such as in the discovery of a skimmer at a gas station in Kingsland on Dec. 26, 2017.
“(The tampered device) may look different than the pump next to it,” Hanson said. “I would just caution folks to look at the pumps, and if you see any obvious signs of tampering, don’t use it and alert the attendant.