Police: Skimming thieves may be targeting Publix ATMs

Same man may have 'skimmed' Publix ATMs in South Florida, police say

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona Beach police are looking for a man they believed may have tampered with a Publix ATM and who may be connected to a much bigger crime spree throughout the state of Florida.

Police said they were called out to the Publix at 2595 North Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach around 1 p.m. Sunday receiving a report about suspicious activity.

Police said a manager told them a customer said the ATM was not reading his card and may be broken. They checked the surveillance video which shows a man looking around to make sure the coast is clear before, police say, he puts a skimming device onto the ATM.

Police believe the same man in that video comes back hours later in different clothes to remove the skimmer.

"There may be a group of people working together that are doing this. They only leave the skimmer on for about two to three hours, but who knows how many people use that machine during those two to three hours, " said Jimmie Flynt, Daytona Beach Police Department spokesman.

Police believe the man in the surveillance video could be the same man seen at other Publix stores in South Florida in the past week.

"It's kind of strange that it happened at the Publix here and then we get information that two Publix stores down south had the same thing happen, so there is a possibility they could be doing this along the I-95 corridor," Flynt said.

Skimmers were found on four different Publix ATM's in South Florida. Police believe the crooks are using the grocery stores because the suspects won't be watched as closely.

"Most ATM's have cameras inside and it appears they are hitting Publix machines because they have camera's only recording one angle so you only have a shot from above," Flynt said.

So how do you know if the ATM you use has been tampered with? Police say unfortunately, it may be hard to tell.

"If you put your card in and you can't get money out and it's not out of order and it's not giving you any money, then there is a problem and it needs to be reported," Flynt.

There is a camera attached to skimmer devices that records pin numbers as they are being entered, so in order to protect yourself use your hand to cover up the view of the camera when you enter your pin number. Thieves can't do much without that information.

Call Daytona Beach police if you have used the ATM machine Sunday at the Publix at 2595 North Atlantic Ave. in Daytona Beach and have seen suspicious activity on your account.

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