Clinton police bust card skimming ring targeting the metro - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Clinton police bust card skimming ring targeting the metro

Tocaris Calvin  Source: Clinton PD Tocaris Calvin Source: Clinton PD
Louis Smith Source: Clinton PD Louis Smith Source: Clinton PD
Timothy Hodges Source: Clinton PD Timothy Hodges Source: Clinton PD
Terrence Calvin Source: Clinton PD Terrence Calvin Source: Clinton PD
source: Clinton PD source: Clinton PD
CLINTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Clinton Police joined forces with other jurisdictions to bust a card skimming ring targeting the metro.

On September 29 around 5:30 P.M., a Clinton detective found and removed a credit card skimmer from a gas pump at the Shell Gas Station on East Northside Drive in Clinton. The rest of the gas pumps were checked and no other skimming devices were found.

Officers also checked other gas stations in the area to make sure there were no other skimmers.

Later that night around 10:30 pm, a Clinton patrol officer noticed two men in a 2016 Hyundai rental car at the Shell Gas Station after closing hours.

The suspects were near pump number eight. Based on reasonable suspicion, the officer conducted an investigatory detention on the suspects as they were leaving the gas station.

The driver was identified as 28-year-old Tocaris Calvin from Bolton and 41-year-old Louis Smith from Lancaster, California. 

CPD Patrol Officers noticed a laptop computer protruding from underneath the front passenger seat at the back floorboard. 

While talking to the suspects, the police officer said both men acted like they were not associated with the laptop. Smith also lied to the detectives when they asked him about his criminal history.

During the roadside interview, it became obvious to the detective that the suspects were trying to access the blue-tooth skimmer on the gas pump, unaware that it had been removed earlier in the evening.

 After they refused consent to search their rental car, detectives secured a search warrant for the car.

Detectives seized a laptop, a USB blue-tooth adapter, several receipts showing purchases of electronic devices at several stores including a Game Stop receipt for an Xbox purchase and a Target receipt for an Xbox. Multiple cards, credit cards, and gift cards were also seized. 

Both suspects were arrested and taken to the police department for further investigations.

During the interview process at the police station, Calvin’s interview gave information providing probable cause to charge both suspects with the conspiracy to unlawfully use a scanning device or reencoder to capture encoded information from the magnetic strip on a credit card.

Electronic and digital evidence was submitted to the State of Mississippi Attorney General’s Office for analysis. Investigators learned that the laptop computer had credit card account information on it, believed to have been gathered by the skimmer.

Following an intensive investigation, information gathered has indicated a ring of suspects, originating out of Atlanta, Georgia, responsible for operating the skimming devices in the tri-county areas, to include several counts of credit card fraud and the fraudulent use of identity.

The Attorney General’s Office, the Ridgeland Police Department, the Pearl Police Department, Madison Police Department, Flowood Police Department, the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office and the United States Secret Service met on October 3 at Clinton Police Department to coordinate their investigations.  

Louis Smith faces charges from several different jurisdictions. Right now, Smith has been charged by the Clinton Police Department with one count of conspiracy and one count of unlawful use a scanning device or re-encoder to capture encoded information from the magnetic strip on a credit card, a felony that carries the maximum sentence of five years in prison with a fine not to exceed $10,000. Smith will be prosecuted as a habitual offender and is currently being held on a five million dollar bond.

Tocaris Calvin was charged on one count of conspiracy and has been released on $1,000 bond.

Clinton Police have also issued arrest warrants for Timothy Hodges and Terrence Calvin both from Bolton who have been identified as primary conspirators in the case.

Hodges and Terrance Bolton have been identified by video evidence of utilizing fraudulent cards at local businesses to purchase electronic devices for resale as part of the skimming ring.

Investigators will continue to sort the evidence to determine the origin of bank account numbers recovered and track down any additional suspects and potential victims that have been plagued by this "skimming ring".

Clinton Police are asking for the public to help find Timothy Hodges and Terrance Calvin. If you have any information please call Clinton police at 601-924-5252 or Crimestoppers at 601-924-5252.

RELATED: Skimmer found at metro gas station

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