Two men have been charged with installing an electronic skimming device on bank ATMs in the Kansas City area to steal customer bank account numbers and PINs.
Jackson County prosecutors charged Pedro Donciano Baptista-Zacarias, 38, and Renato LaCovara, 31, with trafficking in stolen identities.
Both men are from Venezuela and were in the United States on visas. LaCovara’s visa had expired, and he is in the United States illegally, according to the court documents.
After they were arrested, they told police they had come to Kansas City from Houston with the intent to use the skimming device, according to the documents.
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According to the documents: On March 24, surveillance video captured the device being installed on a Commerce Bank ATM at 804 E. 12th St.
It was removed about two hours later, and bank officials determined that 44 customers had their information compromised.
The bank also reported to police that the device had been installed at two other Commerce Bank locations. An additional 100 accounts were compromised.
LaCovara was arrested at the Argosy Casino in Riverside while allegedly trying to use some of the stolen information at an ATM.
Baptista-Zacarias was arrested later.
He reportedly described to police how they would transfer the stolen information onto blank gift cards.
When police searched their Platte County hotel room, they found the apparent skimming device and more than 100 blank gift cards and 20 blank credit cards, according to the documents.