More Suspects Arrested for ‘Skimming’ from Brooklyn Supermarkets

By Matis Glenn

Two suspects were arrested Wednesday afternoon in Williamsburg for allegedly defrauding EBT customers, the latest in a series of such incidents across New York City, which has put store owners and customers on edge and garnered significant attention from the NYPD.

Two scammers were identified earlier this month in Williamsburg, and another pair were arrested Tuesday in Flatbush.

Wednesday’s arrest followed an investigation by Williamsburg Shomrim, who received a call the day before from the owner of a Flushing Avenue supermarket who noticed that someone had touched one of his payment terminals. Shomrim identified the device attached to the terminal as a “skimmer,” a tool used to record the numbers of credit, debit, or EBT cards that are swiped.

This machine looked like part of the terminal itself; the scammers had replaced the rubber privacy guard on top of the PIN entry pad with a skimmer.

The NYPD has instructed shoppers to gently tug at privacy guards at payment terminals, because the fake ones come off easily.

Shomrim members identified the suspect through surveillance footage, and were able to see the license plates of the car used by the pair after the alleged theft.

At around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a Shomrim member noticed a car that matched both the description of the suspects’ and their license plate.  Additional members followed the suspects and notified NYPD of their location, until police arrested the two men after pulling their car over on the Pulaski bridge.

Police were processing the suspects as of the time of this writing, and upon gaining a warrant, will search the vehicle for the skimmer device.

Shomrim has created a program for store owners to quickly and easily identify if their machines have been compromised.

“Store owners should be vigilant and check their machines every few hours, and should call Shomrim to join our program as soon as possible,” Yanky Itzkowitz, Coordinator for Williamsburg Shomrim told Hamodia.

“We need to show would-be thieves that they will not succeed in defrauding members of the community, especially people who rely on EBT to feed their families.”

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