SAPD makes rare credit card skimming arrest after DNA allegedly found at gas pump

By Fares Sabawi Updated 7:45 am CDT, Thursday, March 21, 2019

San Antonio police made a rare arrest in a credit card skimming case after finding a suspect’s DNA on one of the devices, authorities said.

Walter Leyva-Galindo, 31, was charged with unlawful use of an electronic device and possessing a criminal instrument, jail records showed.

Police found the skimmer on Sept. 12, 2018, at a Circle K gas station located at 16555 Huebner Road, according to Leyva-Galindo’s arrest affidavit.

The device was processed for DNA and sent to a crime lab, according to the affidavit. On Jan. 28, investigators were notified that there the DNA was a match for Leyva-Galindo.

After ensuring he did not work for the gas station or the company that services the pumps, authorities arrested Leyva-Galindo. His bail was set at $20,000.

Skimmers are devices that attach to a gas pump’s or ATM’s card-reading fixture. They pull customers’ credit card information, which thieves can usually retrieve via a Bluetooth connection and use to commit fraud.

They are installed within the pay terminal so most are not visible to customers.

San Antonio police and the Secret Service work together on skimming cases. Though the coordination has led to a handful of arrests, they don’t happen as frequently as police would like, San Antonio Police Lt. Marcus Booth previously said.

“They’re tough cases to make,” Booth said. “Catching them (installing skimmers) in real-time is hard, and video is either nonexistent or lousy.”

In 2018, police found 235 credit card skimmers. In the first two months of 2019, police have found 36 skimmers at gas stations across the city.

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