BETHEL -- Police are using a suspect's own DNA to track down the man who they believe installed a card skimming device on an ATM in town and may have done the same in New York.
Police released video of a man approaching an ATM in a McDonald's at 824 3rd Ave. in New York and installing a skimming device on August 20. The device is designed to capture the information encoded on the magnetic stripe of a credit card and record video of the PIN being entered into the machine.
Police said a device recovered in Bethel was sent to the State Police Forensics lab. It was determined that the DNA recovered matched DNA recovered in the New York case. The DNA does not match anyone identified in the database according to police.
“He hasn't been arrested for a felony that would've required him to submit a sample to our DNA database,” said Lt. Michael Libertini of the Bethel police department.
Police said the device was self contained and did not transmit any information as it was received. It was recovered before the suspect could return for it.
“I do use the ATMs occasionally to get some cash and I guess it's something that I have to take into consideration,” said Steve Stefkovich, a customer at a Bethel convenience store.
“I've got to tell you, I'm thankful for the chips on cards now,” said Lauren Fox of Redding. Police say the chips, on the front of debit and credit cards, do offer more protection of personal information.
Bethel police will not say which ATM in town had the illegal skimming device on it, but they did say, since they've posted the information late Tuesday, it's received a great deal of interest.
“We shared it on our Facebook page, which got somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 to 600 shares and 27,000 views in a matter of 16 hours,” said Libertini.
The best advice: cover the keypad when punching in your PIN.
Bethel police do not believe any people using the local ATM had their personal information compromised. If you recognize the individual police are searching for, Bethel police are asking you to contact Det. Matt Zavatsky at 203 744-7900.
Police also released a poster from NYPD with information about the suspect.
The illustration below, courtesy of the FBI website, gives you a good breakdown of how crooks can grab your personal info when you swipe at an ATM.