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Four arrested in Saanich for pin-pad fraud

Mar 13 2012

A diligent store owner and a Saanich police officer in the right place at the right time foiled a sophisticated fraud operation involving four men from the Lower Mainland.

Around 10 p.m. Saturday, the owner of the Qoola frozen yogurt store at the Uptown chased out three men trying to steal the store's pin pad, police spokesman Sgt. Dean Jantzen said.

The owner pursued the trio and flagged down a Saanich patrol sergeant, who happened to be driving by, Jantzen said.

The store owner provided a description of the men and the officer found them in the underground parkade, standing near a Mercedes.

The three were arrested and the car was impounded.

On Sunday, detectives searched the hotel room where the men were staying and found a cache of stolen, fraud-related equipment including pin pads, electronic parts, computers, tools and equipment to compromise the pads. While police were raiding the hotel room, a fourth man arrived and was arrested.

Pin pads are electronic devices used in debit or smart card-based transactions to input and encrypt the PIN numbers of cardholders.

The four Lower Mainland men range in age from 24 to 40. They face a variety of charges.

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