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Three Florida men face more charges in credit card skimming case

LOCKPORT - Three Florida men, already in custody in Orleans County for using a device to steal credit card numbers of customers at a local store, will face similar charges in Niagara County.

The Niagara County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that arrest warrants have been issued for the men, charging them with using a "skimming" device, attached to a gas pump at a Town of Lockport convenience store, to steal the card numbers of those who swiped their cards at the pump. The numbers then were used to make purchases.

The suspects are Ernesto Alvarez Santos, 20, and Able Garcia Fernandez, 31, both of Hialeah, Fla., and Yordani Ramirez Salgado, 27, of Miami.

All three will be charged with fourth-degree grand larceny, first-degree identity theft, second-degree forgery and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

The thefts allegedly occurred on the weekend of Jan. 21-22 at Scapelliti's Super Store on Chestnut Ridge Road. Sheriff James R. Voutour said no other stores are believed to have been affected.

Undersheriff Michael J. Filicetti said the Sheriff's Office has received about 20 calls from potential victims of credit card fraud, and counting calls to State Police in Niagara and Orleans counties, there have been more than 100 complaints.

"The investigation is not complete by any means," Filicetti said.

State troopers, aided by the Orleans County Sheriff's Office, arrested the three men Jan. 24 after receiving complaints of men trying to use fraudulent gift cards at the Albion Walmart.  Salgado was caught at the scene and the other men were captured when the vehicle in which they fled was pulled over on Route 98.  They are being held in the Orleans County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail each.


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