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2 Suspected Of Installing Card Skimmers At Sherman Oaks, Encino Banks

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(credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

(credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Two men have been arrested on suspicion of installing credit and debit card skimming devices at several banks in Sherman Oaks and Encino, officials said Friday.

Geori Nikolov, 32, of North Hollywood and Dimitar Dimitrov, 36, of Santa Monica were arrested Sunday and booked on multiple felony counts of theft. Both men are being held on $70,000 bail, but also have no-bail immigration holds placed on them, which will keep them in custody until the case goes to court or the holds are lifted, sheriff’s Sgt. Josh Mankini said.

Detectives from a regional task force, who were working with Chase and Bank of the West, were alerted to the skimming devices in September of 2012. The devices, which are designed to steal credit and debit card information and PIN numbers, were being installed at branches in Sherman Oaks and Encino, he said.

“They were installing the skimmers as overlays on the bank’s ATMs,” Mankini said. “They would attach the skimmers for a few hours and then go and retrieve them and the banking information they stole.”

The investigation led to Nikolov and Dimitrov, who were pulled over on the Ventura Boulevard onramp to the San Diego (405) Freeway in Encino on Sunday. Both men were arrested and search warrants were served on their homes later that day, Mankini said.

Mankini declined to say how much money the pair allegedly stole, how many customers were defrauded or if there were other banks involved, saying it remains an ongoing investigation.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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