Sarasota Police Department Street Crimes Unit to Search for Gas Station Skimmers

SARASOTA, Fla. – February 25, 2016  – 1 p.m.

Tomorrow, Friday, February 26, 2016 at 10 a.m., media outlets are invited to follow members of the Sarasota Police Department Street Crimes Unit as they partner with gas stations to conduct safety checks of several gas pumps in the City of Sarasota for skimming devices.  Officers and gas station employees will open gas pumps to check for skimming devices inside and around the pumps.

Officers will conduct three gas station safety checks on Friday.  Media outlets are asked to meet at Siesta Shell (3440 South Osprey Ave) at 10 a.m.  Officers will partner with gas station owners to open gas pumps and inspect them.  Officers will check two other gas stations following the visit to Siesta Shell.  Media are welcome to attend all gas station safety checks.

Skimming devices on gas pumps are used to steal account information from a card’s magnetic strip as it’s swiped.  Theft of account information can lead to identify theft.  Two skimmers have been located in February in the City of Sarasota so Officers are being proactive and checking gas pumps throughout the city. 

  • February 3, 2016: Skimming device located at 2000 North Washington Blvd., Sarasota (Marathon)

  • February 11, 2016: Skimming device located at 1841 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota (Exxon)

How to stay safe at the gas pump:

  • If something seems suspicious, notify the store clerk and pay inside

  • If possible, try and use gas pumps closer to the store.  Criminals often tamper with outer pumps that are out of view of a clerk or security camera

  • Monitor bank accounts regularly to watch for any unauthorized charges and report them immediately