ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — Sheriff’s deputies say a man almost got away with a debit-card skimming scheme near Elizabeth City over the weekend. The attempted burglary was caught on camera, and investigators are trying to identify the suspect.
“It looks like it happened a little after 1 a.m. on Saturday morning, August the first,” said Pasquotank County Sheriff Randy Cartwright. “It was a white cargo van with a black male driving it.”
When you look at the surveillance video, it’s hard to see the crime, but you can see the man has an electronic device and a credit card in his hand.
“Through the investigation, it looked like a black male had tried to put a digital skim reader in the ATM machine and damaged it,” Sheriff Cartwright said.
It was an attempted heist at the State Employees’ Credit Union outside Elizabeth City. As Cartwright pointed out, skimming from card readers isn’t an immediate theft.
“They slide [the skimmer] in and then it actually captures the card that’s being used to do the transaction,” Cartwright said.
Had it worked, all debit cards used in the ATM while the device was there could have been compromised. But it turns out the thief only damaged the ATM machine.
The credit union told 10 On Your Side the wannabe burglar stole no money or information. SECU has since repaired the ATM.
Still, Sheriff Cartwright said staying alert when using your card anywhere goes a long way.
“Be vigilant when you pull up to one of these things,” Cartwright said. “Look around. Do you see something different than the last time you visited this place? Or if you get ready to stick your card in and it doesn’t go in right, look up. A lot of these are just two-sided tape in there.”
If you have any information about this crime or can identify the suspect in the surveillance images, please call the sheriff’s office at 252-335-5555.