New York

Alleged Thieves May Have Taken Credit Card Numbers All Along I-95

Two people arrested in South Carolina with $35,000 and eight devices placed on gas pumps to steal credit card numbers may have stolen financial information from people all along Interstate 95 on the East Coast, authorities said.

Yordan Alberto and Katty Andrea Carpio-Rios were turned over to the U.S. Secret Service after their arrest Sept. 28 once police realized they were wanted for similar crimes elsewhere in South Carolina and Georgia, Yemassee police spokesman Matthew Garnes said.

Alberto and Carpio-Rios were arrested after Yemassee's police chief pulled them over for speeding, according to an affidavit from a Secret Service agent.

The chief became suspicious when Alberto and Carpio-Rios told different stories about where they had been and where they were going. He asked to search their car and found the cash, three dozen credit cards with different names, eight credit card skimmers that can be placed on gas pumps and a device that illegally encodes the magnetic strips on the cards with the stolen information, according to the sworn statement.

The skimmers use a Bluetooth wireless device that would allow the suspects to pull the data from them without getting out of the car.

"All you have to do is just drive a route from New York to Florida on I-95 and just stop for a minute or two to get the information," Garnes said.

Alberto briefly talked to an FBI agent through an interpreter, saying his job was "working the credit cards" before refusing to speak any more, according to the affidavit.

Alberto and Carpio-Rios are each charged in federal court with one count of access device fraud. The Secret Service refused to say if more charges were possible or how widespread the alleged fraud might be. A lawyer for Carpio-Rios said he couldn't talk about a pending case, and Alberto had no lawyer in court records.

Alberto is a Cuban national from Hialeah, Florida, and Carpio-Rios had an address listed in Brooklyn, New York, but her only ID was a passport from Ecuador, according to the Secret Service affidavit.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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