For years, skimming devices found at pumps across Florida have only gone up. Until 2020: a year unlike any other.
(Scroll down to see which pumps were hit this year in your neighborhood.)
Data from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services showed skimming devices found at pumps had decreased 16 percent this year and almost 40 percent locally.
The pandemic might be a reason why the number is down this year.
“They are really well-organized groups. Very coordinate,” said Dir. of Consumer Services for FDACS, Rick Kimsey. “We believe that the decrease we are seeing this year is based on coronavirus.”
The virus kept inspectors off the roads.
“We predict we would have seen at least the same numbers we would have seen last year if we had not gone through the pandemic,” Kimsey said.
Even with the decrease, some gas stations have already been hit hard this year.
According to state investigator data, News 6 found many Central Florida gas stations had been hit hard by thieves, including stations in Orlando, Windemere, Titusville, and Oviedo.
But to get the low down on what really went wrong, we went to the top hit gas station this year for an answer: Florida Citrus Center in Marion County.
“[We were] surprised, but we were not prepared for it,” said station attendant Charles Bolin. “They slipped in here at night after we were closed and did that.”
Bolin agreeing that thieves were victimizing the gas stations as much as consumers. Now he tried to help keep crime down, while you gas up.
“We put up cameras to catch them,” said Bolin. “Change the locks on the pumps. If [stations] have padlocks on the pumps, change them. [Put on] the little round locks. They are hard to get in.”
Use the map below to find out which local gas stations were hit in your neighborhood. If you cannot see the map, click here.
Keep in mind, when a gas station is hit with skimmers, this often means attendants are coming up with new security measures. It does not necessarily mean the pumps there are unsafe, just that skimmers have been recovered from these pumps.