Crooks caught on camera installing credit card skimmer in Longboat Key

LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. (WFLA) — Two men thought they were pretty sneaky as they installed a credit card skimmer inside a Longboat Key gas pump, but they didn’t realize they were being recorded the whole time.

Now, police need your help to catch them.

On Wednesday morning, Cindy Dearth arrived to work at the Mobil station, 400 Gulf of Mexico Drive. Before turning on the pumps, she looked at Pump 8 and noticed it had been tampered with.

“The [security] tape was off and the screw was out. They unscrewed the screw and just put the tape back over top of it,” Dearth noticed.

She called the police and she was later shocked to see the surveillance video.

“They opened the door of the pump and they knew exactly where to put it,” she said.

Just after midnight, a Lexus pulled up, and two men stepped out.

They didn’t waste any time – after pulling off the security tape, they used a drill equipped with a flashlight to get to work. But they were cautious. When a car passed by, they ducked.

Under the cover of darkness, they pulled open the panel and hurriedly installed the skimmer.

After completing the crime, they screwed the panel back into place and took off.

“I couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe it. They’re pros. It took them two minutes! Two minutes! Like they knew what they were doing, they’d done it before,” said Dearth.

“I’ve never seen video this clear before. You can almost tell the time on the man’s watch,” said Longboat Key Police Lt. Robert Bourque.

The pumps were closed overnight and thanks to the observant gas station manager, police removed the skimmer before anyone was victimized.

“They’re really efficient and fortunately the gas station has done its part,” said Lt. Bourque.

Dearth is thankful these crooks were thwarted, and she encourages fellow gas stations to remain vigilant.

“Make it your morning procedure. It doesn’t take long to go around and check the [security] tapes,” she said.

The two men are still on the run. Police say they may be Hispanic and they are likely in their 20s.

It’s possible they may be part of an organized crime ring. If you have any information, call Longboat Key Police.

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