TROY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Police in Troy, Missouri are trying to identify the thieves who installed three skimming devices on gas pumps.
But instead of adding a device to the card reader on the outside of the pumps, the thieves found a way to open the pump and install the skimming devices inside the machines.
"It would appear that the criminal element has had to change their game a little bit, get more sophisticated in how they're stealing people's credit card information," Detective Tony Stewart said.
The devices were found at the Victory Lane convenience store in the 1700 block of Highway 47. The business was alerted to the problem by customers who found fraudulent activity on debit card accounts shortly after visiting the store.
"We were able to get into all our pumps, open everything up, start an internal investigation on our end," general manager Stephanie Tritch said.
The devices were believed to be installed sometime overnight when the store was closed.
Tritch said the business is now installing an array of surveillance cameras to watch the gas pumps. The store also sealed each pump with a tamper-proof seal that will make it obvious if thieves try to open the pumps again.
Police checked surveillance video from a Quick Trip store in O’Fallon where the stolen card information was used to get cash at an ATM. Police said the skimming devices were found inside three gas pumps.
"We took the devices down to the St. Charles Police crime lab," Stewart said. "They're going to look for DNA, fingerprints, anything we can use to identify a suspect."
Police said the best way to protect yourself from a skimming device that may be hidden from view is to be vigilant to check your credit or debit card accounts frequently for fraudulent activity.