Skimmer may have been been on gas pump for months

- Along the busy corridor of U.S. 301 in Sarasota, a silent thief left their mark inside a gas pump.

"These individuals that are doing this are very technical. They know what they are doing, and it's up to us to protect us," said Lt. Randy Boyd with the Sarasota Police Department.

Inspectors found a credit card skimmer planted inside a pump at the Marathon gas station off of Washington Boulevard.  It is just far enough away that surveillance cameras couldn't catch the culprit.

With each swipe of a card the skimmer collected personal information.

"They really have access to all of your funds and can do a lot of damage, not so much physically, but emotionally and mentally. That is where this crime really hits you hard," said Lt. Boyd.

There is no telling how long it has been going on.  The U.S Department of Agriculture said the last time the pumps were checked was March of last year.

Boyd and his team of detectives are trying to piece together a timeline to figure it out.

"There is really no telling how many victims have come from this or if they even had the opportunity to come back and retrieve the information in the skimmer. They may not have had that opportunity yet," he said.

Boyd said anyone who has stopped at the pumps should check all of their bank records.  With so many skimmers out there these days, anyone who pays at the pump -- anywhere -- needs to be vigilant.

"Anything that doesn't look correct look again, if you run your card in it and it doesn't take it, don't run your card a second time. That is an indication there is something wrong in there," Boyd warned.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Sarasota Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 941-954-7070 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477) or online at www.sarasotacrimestopper.com.

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