San Luis Obispo police arrested two Southern California men earlier this month as part of an investigation that began after a skimming device found at Chase Bank on Madonna Road resulted in more than $121,000 being stolen from 112 customers.
Gnel Snapyan, 35, of North Hollywood and Gervork Aroutiounyan, 48, of Panorama City were arrested Feb. 3 and charged with conspiracy, forgery and possession of skimming devices.
Those arrests follow the December arrests of Artush Margaryan, 26, of Van Nuys and Hovannes Dilboyan, 23, of Los Angeles. All four men are alleged to have been involved in the skimming operation — using micro cameras and card readers at several banks throughout the county to get customers' debit card information to withdraw cash.
San Luis Obispo detectives, with the assistance of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office of Investigations Organized Crime Unit and the U.S. Secret Service Los Angeles County Fraud Task Force, identified Aroutiounyan and Snapyan as being involved with the ATM skimming operation.
Detectives have also been working closely with Chase Bank's corporate investigations department, which helped link Aroutiounyan to installing skimmer devices at eight other Chase banks in California. The skimming operation has resulted in a loss of more than $422,000 for Chase Bank.
Snapyan has been released on a $500,000 bail bond. Aroutiounyan is still in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail with bail set at $500,000. The California Attorney General's Office is currently reviewing the case for prosecution, because of the multiple jurisdictions involved.