SANATOGA PA – A coordinated hunt by police departments in Lower Pottsgrove and Limerick townships is being mounted for two males who are persons of interest in a joint investigation of multiple cases of debit card information skimming. The crimes occurred at local businesses without the merchants’ knowledge and affected many victims, the departments said in a statement Thursday (Feb. 1, 2018).
Skimming devices (at right) were placed on automated teller machines and points of sale both inside and outside stores and other locations, Lower Pottsgrove Police Chief Michael Foltz, and Limerick Chief R. Brian Skelton reported.
The devices can read and remember credit card numbers and access codes or personal information numbers (PINs). Electronic debit card data fraudulently collected by skimmers was harvested and used by thieves across both townships, they said.
Skimming cases have been under investigation in Lower Pottsgrove over recent months, Foltz said, and came to widespread public notice in December 2017 when skimmers were discovered on the gasoline pumps of the Turkey Hill Minit Market on East High Street in Sanatoga, and on ATM machines of a limited number of local financial institutions.
Then, early in January, skimmers also were discovered in Pennsburg area locations, and an investigation of them was undertaken by Upper Perkiomen police.
Most recently, on last Tuesday (Jan. 30), the Lower Pottsgrove department was alerted to the presence of a skimmer at the Aldi supermarket at 297 Armand Hammer Blvd. Police successfully removed that device, but also alerted Aldi stores in neighboring jurisdictions to be on the look-out for similar set-ups. One was found in the Aldi store at the Limerick Crossing Shopping Center, 33 W. Ridge Pike., and Limerick police were called in.
Skelton and Foltz said their detectives and officers “are working in cooperation with the security teams of the various stores” to find the perpetrators. Specific “actors from this matter have not been identified,” their statement added, but “are believed to be part of criminal enterprise operating in the greater Philadelphia area.”
And now the investigation has more tangible evidence to follow besides the devices themselves.
The police chiefs said investigators “have located video surveillance footage from the Aldi store in Lower Pottsgrove that identifies two males who are persons of interest.” See the footage, which was uploaded to The Post’s YouTube account, above. Other cameras supplied photographic images (at top and below).
Anyone with information about these persons of interest, or about other possible perpetrators, or regarding suspicious activity at other locations that accept debit cards, is asked to contact the Lower Pottsgrove department at 610-326-1508, or the Limerick department at 610-495-7909.
Video and photos from the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department