A routine traffic stop in Utah lead a patrolman to uncover an alleged credit card fraud ring.
On Aug. 9, Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Ryan Bauer pulled over brand new, rented Ford Explorer in Iron County on Interstate 15 heading towards California.
The car had been speeding, but when the officer got to the vehicle, not only did he find out that the person who rented the car was not present and that the driver was operating under a suspended license, but he also noticed that there were 13 stolen credit cards in the vehicle, as well as a credit card skimmer and several gift cards.
The names on all of the cards read "Joyce Martin," which is the same last name as one of the people arrested in the incident.
"Each card appeared to be shaved and altered to have different numbers and name," the probable cause statement read, according to the St. Georges News. "There was no Joyce Martin in the vehicle as well."
After discovering the car rental name did not match, conflicting information was given to Bauer by two of the suspects, which lead the patrolman to suspect drugs were in the vehicle. A subsequent search performed by a K-9 unit didn't find any drugs, but led to the credit cards being uncovered.
All three people present in the vehicle, two California residents — a 27 year old male and a 30 year old female — and a 23 year old Oklahoma resident, were taken into custody.
The presence of a skimmer prompted Sgt. Bauer to offer advice on how to handle the devices when speaking with the St. Georges News.
"My biggest advice is to get a good card that's got good fraud protection on it," Bauer said. "And if you can give it to a person, physically hand it to a person that can run that card for you rather than running it through the [gas] pump, that's better too."
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