FREMONT (KPIX 5) – Fremont Police said they have dismantled part of a sophisticated crime ring responsible for ripping people off at gas stations all over the Bay Area.
Police arrested four men from Los Angeles County who they say used gas pump skimmers to steal credit card information in five counties, including Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco.
A Fremont patrol officer first noticed Iurii Osetskyi making multiple transactions at a Wells Fargo ATM in January. The officer said the man was found with $3,800 and more than 25 gift cards, but no ATM card.
The next day, his brother Denys was arrested after officers said cards, cash and electronics were found in his motel room.
Last week, investigators recovered nine Bluetooth-enabled gas pump card skimming devices, cloned debit cards and components to build more skimmers. The evidence turned up when police pulled over a suspicious car in Fremont. The driver, identified as Vasiliy Polyak, is a relative of the brothers.
A fourth man, Artak Harutyunyan, was also arrested on suspicion of identity theft.
Fremont Police believe the suspects could be tied to a transnational criminal organization with roots in the greater Los Angeles area.
Police are asking gas station managers and works across the Bay Area to check their pumps for skimmers.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Fremont police fraud detective Adam Foster at 510-790-6900 or via email at Afoster@fremont.gov.
Anonymous tips are also accepted via text by messaging “TIP FREMONTPD” along with the information to 888-777.