Howe Police have arrested two men in connection with multiple card-skimming incidents reported in Howe and Gunter.
Yoel Hernandez-Frometa, 30, and Yalian Chacon-Cabreja, 24, both of Amarillo, were arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, fraudulent use or possession of personal identifying information, and breach of computer security.
In a statement released by the Howe Police Department Friday, the agency said Howe Police Officer Brandon Ozuna was patrolling Howe during the early morning hours of March 16 when he received a report of two men in a Mercedes sedan tampering with gas pumps at a business in Gunter. At approximately 4 a.m. Ozuna spotted the described vehicle at a Valero gas station in Howe and noticed two men acting suspiciously at a pump where police had previously recovered card-skimming devices.
Ozuna made contact with the suspects and conducted a consented search of the vehicle, which yielded several credit cards and bank statements that did not match the identity of either man. Police officers from Gunter and Van Alstyne responded to the scene as well and Hernandez-Frometa and Chacon-Cabreja were subsequently taken into custody. Police seized the vehicle and approximately $1,000 in cash under civil forfeiture proceedings. In the statement, Howe Police said the department recovered evidence before the men’s arrests which links Hernandez-Frometa and Chacon-Cabreja to the skimmers removed from the Valero gas pumps several weeks ago.
The investigation remains ongoing and Howe Police said the department is working with law enforcement agencies in Oklahoma and Arkansas, where Hernandez-Frometa and Chacon-Cabreja are believed to have installed card-skimming devices as well.
Howe police encourage the public to remain vigilant for such activity by visually inspecting gas pumps and card-reading machines before use and regularly monitoring personal bank accounts and activity.
Those with information concerning Hernandez-Frometa and Chacon-Cabreja are asked to contact Howe Police Department Detective Keith Milks at 903-532-9971.