TRACY – Two Southern California men in early November pleaded guilty to felony charges stemming from an ATM “skimming” case in which electronic devices were used to capture customers’ financial information at a Tracy bank.
Sergey Karenovich Yasayan, 30, and Edgar Vasilyan, 28, appeared Nov. 1 in the Manteca Branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court and pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to commit burglary, theft, identity theft and possession of scanning device with intent to defraud and felony acquiring personal identifying information with intent to defraud.
They were sentenced to 6 months in San Joaquin County Jail, 5 years of probation, ordered to stay away from all Chase Bank branches in California, and ordered to pay at least $20,000 in restitution. The men are scheduled to report on Jan. 10 to serve their County Jail sentences. The two had been held on $2 million bail since being arrested Aug. 29 by Tracy police as they left a Chase branch in Tracy with skimming equipment in their hands.
According to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, the men used an aluminum slat with a pinhole camera snapped into place on ATMs that was used to record customer keypad entries.
Another device was added to the card reader unlocking the door to the Chase Bank ATM vestibule. That device captured information from the customer’s ATM or credit card used to unlock the door, information that could be used to create counterfeit credit cards used to drain the customers’ accounts.
Tracy police believe the two men placed the skimming devices on ATMs at the Chase Bank branch at 2751 Grant Line Road in Tracy on two consecutive weekends from Aug. 20 to 29. The two men were recorded by bank security cameras installing the devices and Tracy police set up surveillance on the second weekend. That is when the men were arrested.
The District Attorney’s Office urged bank customers who believe they may have been a victim in this case to notify their bank and have their account numbers changed. Prosecutors also suggest using a different card to enter such vestibules than the card to be used in the ATM. They also urged bank customers to avoid ATM and gas pumps with debit card payment options if they should notice keyhole cameras.