[StBernard] Two in St. Bernard Parish arrested for using illegal 'skimming devices' to collect credit card info

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri Sep 20 21:51:01 EDT 2013

Two in St. Bernard Parish arrested for using illegal 'skimming devices' to
collect credit card info
Print Bob Warren, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By Bob Warren, NOLA.com |
The Times-Picayune
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on September 20, 2013 at 7:17 PM, updated September 20, 2013 at 7:18 PM

A woman who worked at a fast food restaurant and a man she knows have been
arrested by St. Bernard Parish authorities in connection with a "skimming''
operation that stole information from customers' credit and debit cards. The
pair was booked Friday.

The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office said Ashley Spears, 20, who was
working at the drive-through window of a Chalmette fast food restaurant,
used a hand-held skimmer, a type of scanning device, to record customers'
credit and debit card information. Spears was booked with 29 counts of
violating a state anti-skimming law, as well as unauthorized use of access
cards and identity theft. All those offenses are felonies, the Sheriff's
Office said.

Frank Tate, 29, who investigators said is a friend of Spears, was booked
with possession of a scanning device used for skimming debit or credit
information, but faces possible additional charges, the Sheriff's Office

St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann said other suspects are under
investigation. The U.S. Secret Service is also investigating, the Sheriff's
Office said.

"It involves numerous victims and thousands of dollars'' taken from bank
accounts using the hand-held skimmers, Pohlmann said.

The Sheriff's Office said information leading to the arrests came from the
banks of the customers, and the restaurant, which cooperated in the
investigation. The Sheriff's Office did not name the fast food outlet.

One skimmer was found in Spears' purse after she was arrested; another was
found at Tate's home, the Sheriff's Office said.

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