Gas station owner on mission to catch credit card skimmer thieves

By Sophia Beausoleil - Reporter

HOUSTON - The owner of a gas station and auto shop said he hopes surveillance video will help catch the people who installed skimmers at his business.

Rick White is the owner of Meyerland Service Station.

“We noticed on Nextdoor that we had a few customers come in and said they had their cards compromised here,” explained White.

He said they went to check their pumps and at No. 1 and 2 they found someone had broken into them.

“The tape had been removed so they opened it up somehow and installed a skimmer,” explained White. “It’s just  horrible, I feel bad for the customers and it’s very expensive and aggravating for us also.”

A skimmer is a device used to steal people’s credit card information.

White said they removed the skimmer, changed the locks, replaced the security labels that are strapped across the pump and repositioned their security cameras.

Sure enough, White said Wednesday morning they arrived to work to find the same pump broken into overnight, but this time he got the thieves' vehicle on camera.

“When they pulled in, they got out of the truck and walked around,” explained White.

The man is seen lowering his hat once he sees the security camera. The suspected thieves also repositioned the blue truck, which had tools and a tire in the back, to block the view. It’s hard to see what they are doing, but White said it took them longer to break into the panel because of the new locks.

He suspects they were looking for the skimmer, but White already removed it.

“They have skill, they should get a job, they’re not totally stupid, some people don’t want to work for a living,” expressed White.

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The owner said about five to 10 customers were impacted. He said Conoco will assist with helping the customers who were scammed.

As for the repairs and security, that’s money out of White’s pocket.

White, who has had the business since 2005, said he’s mainly concerned for his customers.

“When I saw my customers' concerns last time, I wanted to let them know we were proactive about doing something about it and update them  and the help of the secret service, we’ll get these guys,” explained White. “Catch these guys and give them an extended vacation.”

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