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Skimmers Hit Newhall Unocal 76 Gas Station

Posted: February 20, 2008 3:46 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Motorists who used a credit card on Feb. 12 to fill up their gas tanks at the Circle K/Unocal 76 gas station on Lyons Avenue at Interstate 5 in Newhall may be in for a surprise when they receive their next billing statement. Three suspects targeted the gas station last week in a credit card skimming scheme to obtain credit card numbers of unsuspecting customers.

A second gas station in Sylmar, a Mobil on Roxford Avenue just off the I-5, was also targeted by the suspects, who were arrested near that location late last week by the Los Angeles Police Department.

LAPD officers who frequent the Newhall gas station received a tip about the credit card scheme and began investigating the matter. When a manager at the Sylmar Mobil reported a similar incident involving three suspects at his station, law enforcement authorities were able to connect the two cases and arrested the three suspects.

According to the LAPD, the three suspects were identified as Tigran Vardanyan, 18; Gevorg Vardanyan, 18; and Armen Sukiasyan, 19. All three are from Van Nuys and are being held at the Los Angeles County Jail on charges of credit card theft.

Forgery detectives from the LAPD Valley Forgery Section are still investigating the scope of the scheme, and additional gas stations may be involved. The investigation will determine whether the suspects were involved in similar cases around the region.


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