Three men arrested on suspicion of identity theft, linked to gas station credit card skimming

Three men were arrested this week after police reportedly linked counterfeit credit cards found inside their vehicle in Glendale to card-skimming devices placed at gas station pumps in Coronado, officials said.

The Southern California men — George Felix, 24, Diego Mendez, 25, and Ismael Benitez, 29, — were taken into custody about 4:15 p.m. Monday after officers stopped them at Colorado Street and Pacific Avenue for parking in a handicapped zone without a placard, according to Glendale police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot.

During the stop, the men reportedly let police search the vehicle, where they discovered more than $8,000 in cash and a dozen credit cards in a bag and in wallets.

Officers also found a counterfeit card inside Benitez’s pocket, Lightfoot said.

While searching the vehicle, officers uncovered a piece of paper with information about a 76 gas station in Coronado, she added.

Detectives contacted officers with the Coronado Police Department to investigate the gas station, where they found two credit card-skimming devices on gas pumps, Lightfoot said.

Felix, a San Diego resident, and Mendez and Benitez, both of San Jacinto, were immediately booked on suspicion of identity theft, police said.

Detectives are still investigating the incident to identify any victims.

-- Veronica Rocha,

Follow on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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