‘Skimmers’ used in NC credit card thefts of more than $100,000, warrants say

BOLIVIA, N.C. (WECT) — A California man is facing several felony charges after he allegedly used skimmers and counterfeit ATM cards to steal over $100,000 from victims in Brunswick County last year.

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According to arrest warrants, Gerry Agopian, 31, of Burbank, was charged with accessing government computers to defraud, card theft with a scanning device, obtaining property by false pretense greater than or equal to $100,000, and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense.

Agopian used several “capture devices” to obtain card numbers and security pins from multiple victims in order to access their bank accounts and withdraw money, warrants alleged.

Agopian allegedly used the information captured by the devices to produce counterfeit ATM or debit cards that he used to access victims’ accounts. Warrants also stated that Agopian had an unknown number of accomplices.

The alleged incidents happened from Dec. 14 through Dec. 21 of 2016. The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office issued the arrest warrants on Jan. 27.

Agopian was taken into custody in California on June 9 by the Los Angeles Airport Police Department and transferred to the Brunswick County Detention Center on Friday. He was given a $150,000 bond.

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It’s unclear if Agopian is connected to the cloned ATM card incidents reported by the Shallotte and Sunset Beach police departments last year. Those incidents happened within the same time frame as the crimes alleged in Agopian’s warrants.

The suspects connected to those crimes reportedly used skimmers at various ATMs along the coast.

Authorities said victims were reported in Raleigh, New Hanover County, various locations in Brunswick County, and Little River, SC.

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