Gas station owner where credit card skimmer was found apologizes to customers


Charleston police are investigating after credit card skimmers were found inside one pump at the Exxon on Orange Grove Road in West Ashley and on pump at the Exxon on Harbor View Road on James Island.

Robert Suggs is the owner of the West Ashley store and said he called police when he found the skimmer inside the pump. He was prompted to look after customers complained the pump was malfunctioning and declining cards.

“We are seeing an increase of the skimmers attached inside of the machines,” said Detective James Jackson, the investigator on the cases.

Suggs said he was shocked to find the skimmer because you need a key to open the pump, but Jackson said that is not stopping criminals.

“I have seen video from other places around the country where they can do this in less than 10 seconds, be in and out and gone and act like they're pumping gas while they're doing it,” Jackson said of how easy it is for crooks to get the skimmers inside the pump.

The new placement of skimmers creates big challenges for police.

“We don’t know where they are, the pump owners don’t know where they are, and the consumers don’t know where they are,” Jackson added.

The skimmer was placed on pump #7 at both the Orange Grove Road Exxon and the Harbor View Road Exxon.

Police said it is just a coincidence, but there is a valuable lesson to learn considering both pumps were far from the store.

“They like to put these skimmers on the pumps that are further out because sometimes they is not a lot of camera coverage,” Jackson explained.

Bank representatives encourage people to regularly check their statements and credit reports. They also ask people to monitor their credit reports for any new accounts.

Suggs said he is deeply sorry and wants his customers to know he is doing everything he can to help prevent this moving forward. He said he now checks his pumps every day.

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