Two Los Angeles-area men were arrested by police in San Luis Obispo on Sunday for allegedly running a debit-card skimming operation in the county.
Hovhannes Dilboyan, 23, of Los Angeles and Artush Vaganovich Margaryan, 26, of Van Nuys were arrested on suspicion of burglary, conspiracy, possession of skimming equipment and possession of fraudulently obtained personal information, according to a news release by San Luis Obispo police. Each were booked into County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
The investigation began on Dec. 17 when numerous bank customers complained that their debit cards were compromised. Skimming equipment was later located at an ATM machine in the 400 block of Madonna Road.
Skimming equipment is cameras or other devices placed around ATM machines that record personal cardholder information for fraudulent use.
Detectives put the ATM under surveillance and observed the two suspects changing out the skimming equipment. They were arrested and found to be in possession of other skimming equipment and tools.
Another skimming device was found at a bank ATM in Atascadero. That device was removed and will provide additional evidence in locating other suspects.
Police say many of these skimming operations are conducted by organized crime groups, typically out of Los Angeles, who travel the state to commit their crimes.