Aspen police on Thursday released photos of men who stole thousands of dollars from bank customers using fraudulent debit cards and ATMs in Aspen and Glenwood Springs last month.
The photos from March 23-24 show two different sets of men, one using the ATM in Vectra Bank in Aspen and the other exiting a Glenwood big-box store after using a cash machine inside.
The men at the Vectra ATM netted about $20,000 as they repeatedly returned over six hours with multiple cards that allowed them to access people’s accounts. They withdrew as much as possible, usually in $500 increments.
Snowmass Village police are investigating with their Aspen counterparts because a couple who live in the village had $1,300 stolen from them (the bank compensated them). Their account was drained at two different banks in Aspen in addition to the withdrawals made in Glenwood — all of which occurred on the same weekend.
“We suspect that all of these guys could’ve been together,” said Snowmass police Sgt. Brian Olson.
Olson said he did not want to name the Glenwood store where the ATM is located. Shoppers might fear that their banking information would be compromised during a simple trip to the store, he said.
The company that operates the ATM is a financial institution that is separate from the big-box store.
Police aren’t sure if a “skimmer” that was installed at the ANB bank ATM in Aspen in late December is how the recent thieves obtained the PIN and account information. That device may have employed a tiny camera or a false keypad to secretly record users’ account information.
The data then allows duplicate credit or debit cards to be created, and thousands of dollars were subsequently stolen as the cards with the December skimming information were used at banks and grocery stores both locally and in New York.
While it’s unclear where the Snowmass Village couple’s information was gleaned from, Olson said he is “fairly certain” that it wasn’t during the December incident.
Another source could be valley gas stations. Glenwood Springs police have seized three “skimming” devices installed on gas pumps since October, Lt. Bill Kimminau said this week. The technology was turned over to the U.S. Secret Service, which has jurisdiction over financial crimes.
Aspen police say the culprits in the $20,000 incident were a Latino in his 30s wearing a “CSI” ballcap, and two black men, one in his 20s and the other in his 40s.
In the photos released on Thursday, one man is wearing a “CSI” ballcap, another has a North Carolina State hat and sunglasses on, and the third wore a knit cap.
The men in Glenwood, captured on the store’s surveillance system as they exited, all appear to be white. Two wore sunglasses and knit caps, while the other didn’t take any steps to protect his identity.
That suspect is “definitely identifiable by the photos,” Olson said.
He and Aspen police Detective Walter Chi are hoping more victims come forward, which would help them cross-reference where they had used their bank cards and possibly help lead to how the thieves obtained the PIN and account information.
But victims “could be from all points of the U.S.,” Olson said and may very well not feel the need to contact local authorities if their banks make them whole.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Aspen police at 920-5400 or Snowmass Village police at 923-5330.