Skimming device found at Westerly store; police searching for suspect

WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI) — The search is on for a fraud suspect in Westerly, accused of trying to steal ATM users’ banking information.

According to police, the woman placed a skimming device and a micro camera on an interior Citizens Bank ATM at the Cumberland Farms Store on Granite Street last week.

It’s the latest fraud incident in a growing number of skimming thefts targeting ATM customers inside Cumberland Farms Stores in Rhode Island.

“We had a previous one at the same location back in January, similar circumstances,” said Westerly Police Chief Richard Silva.

In some of these cases, police said instead of a micro camera, thieves placed a fraudulent remote keypad over the ATM keys; the devices are disguised to look like official parts of the ATM and are difficult to detect.

“It’s hard to tell if you’re not familiar with the machine,” Silva explained. “Maybe the color could be different, or there’s something on it that doesn’t look right. It might not be a bad idea to wiggle it a little bit.”

Investigators believe the suspect may be tied to other similar incidents.

“Typically these type of criminals go to various places,” added Silva.

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Cumberland Farms declined to comment on the matter.

Police are now hoping the release of surveillance images of the suspect will lead to her arrest.  If you recognize her, please call the Westerly Police Department at (401) 348-6143.