Clinton Police Arrest Credit Card Skimming Ring Suspects
Clinton, Miss. (October 4, 2016) On September 29, 2016, at approximately 5:30 P.M., CPD detective located and removed a credit card skimmer from gas pump number eight (8) at the Shell Gas Station located at 1419 East Northside Drive in Clinton, Mississippi. The remainder of the gas pumps were checked and no other skimming devices were located. Subsequently, CPD officers conducted checks of local gas stations on Friday morning to protect the citizens of Clinton.
Later that night at approximately 10:30 pm, a CPD Patrol Officer observes two (2) black males in a 2016 Hyundai rental car at the Shell Gas Station after closing hours. The suspects were near pump number eight (8). 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 of Bolton, Mississippi 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.
A Clinton Police Department detective subsequently conducted a roadside interview with the suspects. Both suspects exhibited a disassociated behavior towards the ownership of the laptop computer providing inconsistent statements. Louis Smith lied to detectives regarding his criminal history.
In the course of the roadside interview, it became apparent to the detective that the suspects were attempting to remotely access the blue-tooth skimmer, unaware that it had been removed earlier in the evening. After suspects refused consent to search the rental car, detectives secured a search warrant for the rental car and conducted a search.
Items seized through the search warrant were a laptop computer and a USB Blue-Tooth adapter located in the glove box compartment. Officers seized multiple receipts for purchases of electroninc devices at several metro area retail establishments including a Game Stop receipt for an Xbox purchase and a Target receipt for an Xbox. Multiple cards, credit cards, and gift cards were seized. Both suspects were arrested and transported to the CPD for further investigations.
Tocaris Calvin’s interview divulged 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 contains credit card account information, 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 the morning of October 3, 2016 at the CPD to coordinate their investigations and share information possibly related to the significantly large case initiated by the Clinton Police Department.
Multiple charges will be brought forward by surrounding jurisdictions on Louis Smith. Currently, Smith has been charged by the Clinton Police Department with one (1) count of conspiracy and one (1) 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 ten thousand dollars. Louis 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 (1) count of conspiracy and has been released on $1,000 bond.
Clinton Police have also issued arrest warrants for Timothy Hodges of Bolton and Terrence Calvin of 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 criminal enterprise.
Clinton Police are asking the publics assistance regarding the location of Timothy Hodges and Terrance Calvin. Individuals with information regarding this crime are encouraged to contact the Clinton police Department at 601-924-5252 or Crimestoppers at 601-924-5252.