On Friday, September 13, 2019, at approximately 3:10 AM, a Madison police officer while on patrol observed a male subject acting suspiciously at the Exxon Fuel Station on Highway 51 that had been closed for the night. The officer also observed a vehicle which was occupied by another male subject near the gas pumps at the station.
After detaining the subjects and conducting further investigation the officer found that one of the fuel pumps at the station had been pried open and an apparent electronic skimming device was attached to the pump. As other officers arrived they also found a pry bar and other burglary tools in the suspects’ vehicle. Both subjects were placed under arrest while their vehicle was impounded. Upon arrival of the station owner the other fuel pumps were checked. No other skimming devices were found.
The subjects were identified as Darien Reyes, age 31, of Houston, TX and Alfredo Avila Perez, age 32, also of Houston. Reyes was charged with Unlawful Use of a Scanning Device or Re-encoder, Possession of Burglary Tools and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony. Avila Perez was charged with Use of a Scanning Device or R-encoder, Possession of Burglary Tools, Conspiracy to Commit a Felony and Identity Theft. Avila Perez was in possession of several gift cards. Further analysis by investigators determined the gift cards contained stolen credit card data. Both subjects are being held at the Madison County Detention Center awaiting an initial court appearance in Madison Municipal Court.
This is an ongoing investigation and further charges are possible. Officers checked all of the fuel pumps at all of the fuel stations within the City of Madison and no other electronic skimming devices were located.