ATM card-skimming device found at Columbus bank

Columbus Police Department detectives are working to determine the identity of a suspect they arrested Sunday after a credit card-skimming device was located on a Columbus bank ATM.

Officers were sent to the MainSource Bank branch, 803 Washington St., at 6:20 p.m. Sunday after a bank employee found the card skimmer during a routine check of the machine, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

Officers recovered a small Bluetooth-operated video camera installed above the machine’s key pad, which detectives said they believe was set up by the suspects to steal PIN numbers from customers.

After viewing security camera footage from the bank, the officers recognized the suspects who also were involved in a credit card fraud case in Columbus last week, Harris said. Officers found one of the suspects at a local hotel, where he was arrested, Harris said.

Story continues below gallery

Detectives served a search warrant on two rooms at the hotel where they seized an extensive amount of card-skimming equipment, Harris said.

Describing the tools and equipment that were found as part of a fairly elaborate scheme, Harris said police confiscated tools that were used to make pieces to fit on to the ATMs to skim the information.

Detectives are now working with federal authorities to identify the person arrested at the hotel, Harris said.

The unidentified individual is being held on preliminary charges of possession of a card-skimming device and possession of a false government identification card.

Two additional suspects remain at large, Harris said. Police have released surveillance video photographs of the pair in hopes they may be located.

The police department is not releasing a photo or description of the man they have in custody at this time, Harris said.

Most banks have a protocol to check their ATMs for skimming devices or other tampering as part of their security process, Harris said, and police are not checking other machines throughout the city at this time.

Carrie Stapp, MainSource senior vice president and director of marketing, said the bank does not reveal the processes it uses to check ATMs but said bank officials are urging any customers, or anyone who might have used the particular ATM, to check their bank statements carefully.

If fraudulent activity is found, Stapp said customers should contact their local bank branch or the bank’s customer service number at 800-713-6083. People who are not MainSource customers, but used the ATM and detected fraudulent activity, are urged to contact their own bank’s customer service helpline, she said.

How to help

Anyone with information about credit card-skimming activity in Columbus is asked to call the Columbus Police Department at 812-376-2600.

Author photo
Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.