Police searching for suspect in card skimmer scam

Published 10:53 am Thursday, December 1, 2016

A suspect was caught by a sales clerk attempting to place a credit card skimmer on a local gas pump Monday night, officials said, and police are urging the public to use caution when buying gas with debit or credit cards at the pumps.

The suspect allegedly approached the store, 51 Exxon South, in a white pickup truck at 7 p.m. and used the restroom before leaving without making a purchase, said Capt. Clint Earls of the Brookhaven Police Department.

He returned at approximately 8:30 p.m. in a blue Mercury Mountaineer SUV, with Texas tags on the front of the vehicle. Earls said the vehicle also looks similar to a Ford Explorer.

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The clerk found the suspect allegedly tampering with one of the gas pumps, and to avoid a confrontation the clerk

returned to the store and called the police. When they arrived on the scene, Earls said they did not recover a skimmer device, but the door to one of the gas pumps was open and the wires had been tampered with.

“He was either in the process of retrieving a device that was put on the pump earlier, or he never completed the action of placing the device,” Earls said.

Police are describing the suspect as a male of Indian descent, approximately 5-foot-10 and between 175 and 200 pounds. He was wearing a white polo shirt, blue jeans and a hat.

Anyone with information about a crime is asked to call Brookhaven Police Department at 601-833-2424, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 601-833-5251 or CrimeStoppers at 601-823-0150. Tips leading to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000.

The police department is also urging residents to avoid purchasing their gas at the pump.

“If they’re using a credit card, go inside and present your card at payment,” Earls said. “That’s your only method of not hitting one of these skimmers.”