Two suspects wanted for planting financial information-stealing devices at East Bay grocery stores


Law enforcement agents are seeking information about two suspects who planted financial information-stealing devices at East Bay grocery stores, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said today. Agents with ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations are looking into devices that were placed at Walnut Creek and Dublin Safeway locations in September, ICE officials said.

Although it was removed before any data could be compromised, federal officials said a surveillance camera captured a suspect installing a skimming device at a checkout stand in a Safeway in Walnut Creek. Skimming devices, which can sometimes be accessed remotely, are mechanisms that can covertly swipe credit and debit card information. Authorities were alerted to the incident by a store employee who witnessed it, ICE officials said.

When Safeway notified its other Bay Area stores, another device was discovered to have been installed at the same time by a different suspect in Dublin. Investigators believe the incidents are related to information received in July that people were attempting to install Bluetooth-enabled skimming devices at gas stations and retail stores. Investigators are still seeking the suspects involved in the recent cases. The suspect from the Walnut Creek incident was described as having short, dark hair and was possibly driving a Toyota Corolla.

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