Credit card skimming suspect arrested

A Glendale man was arrested this week on suspicion of using a credit card skimmer to obtain personal information from unsuspecting customers of a Shell gasoline station in Laguna Beach last summer, according to Laguna Beach police.

Akop Tadevosovich Changryan, 27, was arrested Jan. 27 after a lengthy investigation, police Lt. Jason Kravetz stated in a news release.

The devices were placed on the gas pumps of the station and would be removed after the station was closed, Kravetz stated.

"Customers would unknowingly swipe their credit cards at the pumps and leave all of their personal information on the skimming device," Kravetz stated.

The information would then be used to produce fake credit cards, on which unauthorized charges were made.

Some account holders did not realize they had been victimized until their credit card statements were received a month later, Kravetz added.

The nine known victims had thousands of dollars worth of merchandise charged to their accounts. But the exact amount of money stolen from the victims' accounts is still unknown and being determined, department's spokeswoman Sgt. Louise Callus said.

Officers identified the suspect through physical evidence at the scene. Changryan was arrested near his home in Glendale.

He is on probation for "use of account information without consent," Kravetz stated.

Changryan was held without bail in Orange County Jail on suspicion of multiple counts of using unauthorized credit card information to buy items in Los Angeles, Laguna Beach, New Mexico and Arizona.

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