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Massive credit card fraud investigated at Sierra Madre gas station

January 4, 2011 |  7:58 am

Crime is rare in Sierra Madre, so 175 cases of fraud involving a local gas station is sending ripples through the tiny foothill community.

Sierra Madre police say most of the victims are local residents who use credit cards at EVG Quality Gas, and investigators expect to find more.

The first victim reported an identity theft to police Dec. 27 after using her credit card at the station at 50 S. Baldwin Ave.

By noon Monday, Sierra Madre police officers had received more than 175 fraud reports linked to EVG. The total loss exceeds $49,000.

About 75% of the cases involved a single fraudulent transaction at the station known for less-expensive gas than other brands.

Most of the multiple-transaction cases involved ATM and retail transactions. Six cases involved a half-dozen transactions each, and one involved nine transactions.

The largest loss from an individual case was $3,782.

Sierra Madre detectives have served a search warrant and are interviewing people, and several law enforcement and regulatory agencies are providing additional resources.

Police Chief Marilyn Diaz is warning anyone who used a credit or debit card at EVG to check their statements back to at least June 2010.

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-- Richard Winton

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