Deputies: Volusia Co. man installed ATM skimming devices

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - High-tech thieves are trying to steal money from grocery store customers across Central Florida.

Investigators from Polk to Volusia counties have found skimming devices at five Publix stores, most of them in the last few days.

"I don't like that! We only have so much money available to use," said shopper Mindy Morris.

Deputies say a white male in his 40s install a skimmer at a Publix in Ormond Beach Sunday morning, then came back two hours later in different clothes to check it.

A Publix manager discovered the skimming device on the store's ATM after she noticed the card reader looked lighter than usual. After she was able to pull the suspicious cover off, she contacted the Sheriff's Office.

Another skimmer was found at a Publix ATM in Port Orange and was similar to the device found in Ormond Beach.

"It's hard times but that's not the right way to handle it," said shopper Dave Jones

Deputies believe the crimes could be connected, but said they are not sure why thieves are targeting Publix customers.

We asked Publix management why they don't put cameras inside the machines, like at other ATMs, but they never answered that question.

In a statement Publix said, "We strive to provide a favorable and exemplary shopping experience for all of our customers in every aspect of our business and service we provide. We are aware of these unfortunate issues and are working closely with local law enforcement to bring a expedient resolution. While they are isolated, one occurrence is too many. We have several internal processes and systems in place to aid in fending off these occurrences to assure customers our ATMs are reliable and safe to use."

No fraudulent activity has taken place on anyone's bank accounts, but the deputies said there is still a risk.

Skimmers are used to copy your credit or debit card information.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 386-323-0151 or Crime Stoppers 888-277-TIPS. You can also text a tip to CRIMES in the sender line. Type "TIP231" plus your message in the body.