Esther Kang

2 arrested in skimming scheme at Chase ATM in downtown Manhattan Beach

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The interior of the Chase Bank ATM, which shows the skimming device. Courtesy of MBPD

The interior of the Chase Bank ATM, which shows the skimming device. Courtesy of MBPD

Police on Saturday arrested two Los Angeles residents suspected of using a skimming device at a Chase Bank ATM in downtown Manhattan Beach to steal account information from 17 victims.

Melik Torosyan, 21, and Khachatur Harutyunyan, 23, were arrested for possession and use of a scanning device, theft of access card and account information and conspiracy to commit crime.

Around 8 p.m. Saturday, the Manhattan Beach Police Department was notified that two individuals had placed a skimming device on the ATM. Undercover police officers responded and began surveillance of the location, according to an MBPD press release. Later, the suspects returned to the location to retrieve the skimming device. When they attempted to drive out of the parking lot, police officers detained the two for investigation.

According to police, various items were seized from the car for evidence of fraud, including a skimming device, credit cards, gift cards, cell phones, a magnetic block and mounting tape.

An investigation revealed the suspects had installed a scanning device and a pinhole camera by using a mounting tape to cover the ATM card slot. Police believe that they had previously placed similar devices at Chase ATMs in Manhattan Beach six other times since January 30.

All victims have been identified, according to police. The United States Secret Service is assisting MBPD in the ongoing investigation.


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