Arrest Made in Boulder County Credit Card Skimming Case
Art Arsene Appolon, 37, of Oakland, California, was arrested last week in connection with the credit card skimming devices found in pay-at-the-pump consoles at a Superior Conoco gas station. Appolon was taken into custody at the Boulder Target store while trying to buy gift cards using stolen credit card numbers obtained through credit card skimmers. Appollon was booked into the Boulder County Jail, charged with a count of felony theft and eighty counts of identity theft.
On July 8th, sheriff's deputies were notified that two credit card skimming devices had been found inside pay-at-the-pump consoles at the Superior Conoco at 191 S. McCaslin Blvd during routine maintenance. Neither console was entered forcibly so it's likely the suspect had keys to the pump consoles.
In addition to the skimmers found at the Superior Conoco, two more skimming devices were located at the Louisville Conoco gas station at 520 S. McCaslin Blvd, on July 20th. After receiving the initial report, sheriff's investigators began working with law enforcement throughout the Denver metro area and determined that two Miami-based syndicates were involved in local credit card skimming.
Skimming devices capture account holder information from a swiped credit card That information is cloned to a credit card often containing a suspect's embossed name, but with the victim's credit card information on the magnetic strip.
The suspect used the cloned credit cards to purchase $50 and $100 gift cards at a number of Target and Walgreens stores throughout the Front Range. To date, sheriff's investigators, with the help of Target's corporate security team, have been able to identify at least 136 victim card holders, and three to four dozen commercial businesses where the cloned credit cards have been used.
Anyone who has used a pay-at-the-pump console at these gas stations should closely scrutinize their bank and credit card statements and give strong consideration to requesting replacement credit and debit cards. If fraudulent transactions are discovered, a report should be filed at (303) 441-4444.
Anyone with information related to this investigation is asked to contact Detective Chris Fiegel at (303) 441-4763. If anyone has information but would like to remain anonymous, please contact Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit their website at www.nococrimestoppers.com. Those who provide information leading to the identification of a suspect could be eligible to receive a reward of up to $1,000.