Stifled PIN pad tampering reveals identity theft ring

Saanich store owner catches three men in the act of attempting to steal PIN pad

An attempted PIN pad theft led to a successful fraud investigation after an Uptown merchant chased three suspects from his store Saturday evening.

Just after 10 p.m. the owner of Qoola frozen yogurt bar caught three men attempting to steal the PIN pad from the store. He chased them out, and immediately flagged down a nearby Saanich police officer.

The officer entered the shopping centre’s underground parking lot and quickly found the suspects. All three were arrested without incident.

Detectives searched a hotel room on Sunday as a part of the investigation and recovered other stolen PIN pad machines and parts, computers, tools and equipment used to compromise the devices. A fourth suspect was arrested at the hotel.

Suggested charges against four Lower Mainland men, ranging in ages between 24 and 40 years, include: 16 counts of identity theft; theft and possession of stolen property; possession of instruments used to forge credit cards; and various breach charges pertaining to court orders.

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