Alert Debit Card Fraud related to Arco 1950 S. Delaware



200 Franklin Parkway

San Mateo, CA 94403

SMPD received 80 reported cases of ATM/Debit card skimmer fraud during the month of December. SMPD Detectives were able to determine that the Suspects surreptitiously broke into a gas pump paying machine, and attached “a skimmer device” to the back of the key pad at the ARCO Gas Station located at 1950 South Delaware Street. The skimmer was connected to a wireless recording device which captures the ATM card number and the PIN number. The victim customers have no way of knowing the device is attached because it does not disrupt the normal operation of an ATM machine, or the Gas Pump in this case, and does not interrupt any other functions.
The debit card information was recovered by the suspects via a wireless transmitter, electronically transferred via computer, handheld device, or smart phone and encoded onto a blank card so they can make withdrawals at any bank ATM cash machine. The suspects targeted ARCO because it is the only gas station where debit cards are accepted.

We believe the device was attached around 12/04/09 and removed prior to detection around 12/17/09. Similar fraud cases have recently occurred in Rocklin, Torrance, Glendale, Santa Clarita, and throughout Southern California.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Call the SMPD Investigation Services Unit at 650-522-7650 or call the SMPD Secret Witness Anonymous Hotline at 650-522-7676 with any information relating to these cases, or if you discover you are a victim.
SECURITY TIPS: The only way a victim customer will know their ATM or bank information is compromised is if they check their balance. The suspects will withdraw cash at night when the banks are closed. Once the card is denied the suspect will discard it.

Anyone who uses their ATM/Debit card for purchases should check their balance daily! Log onto your account and review your purchase history. Even if you haven’t made any purchases during the day, check to verify there was no unauthorized account activity.
Always protect your PIN number from others and never have it written down in your wallet, purse, organizer etc…
Pay with cash!
Use a pre-paid ATM card. You can manage the amount you have available and it is not linked to your main bank account/funds.
If you find unauthorized withdrawal’s contact your local police and report an Identity Theft report. Remember, your ATM card number, PIN number, or bank account information is defined as personal identifying information under section 530.55(b) of the Penal Code. This is Identity Theft!
For additional information about “skimmers” please refer to the following City of San Mateo Web Site
Please join your Neighborhood Watch group. If one doesn’t exist, you can start one with help from SMPD. For additional information about the City of San Mateo Neighborhood Watch Program, call Sergeant Dave Norris at 522-7626 or visit our web

January 28th, 6:30 pm General Meeting

Hi all. Please put aside, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 for our next Quarterly
HANCSM MTG. NEW location for this meeting: Calif. Water Dept. big room
(where voting normally takes place), Poplar/Delaware. Entry will be from the
Poplar entrance in order to have plenty of parking for everyone. Time: 6:30
PM. Calif. Water Service will provide refreshments. Main topic will be
presentation by the Calif. Water Dept. as a public hearing for their proposal to
building a new Water District Bldg. at the present site. Once new building
is occupied than the old district office will be torn down. HAPPY NEW YEAR
EVERYONE. Bertha Sanchez

Caltrain offers free rides on New Year’s Eve

From the San Mateo Daily Journal:

On New Year’s Eve, Caltrain will offer free rides after 11 p.m. Those planning to party in San Francisco can stay a little after the countdown to take advantage of four post-midnight trains which will leave the San Francisco station at 12:45 a.m., 1:15 a.m., 1:45 a.m. and 2:15 a.m. Additional trains will make all local stops to the San Jose Diridon station. Remember, drinking will not be allowed on Caltrain after 9 p.m. To plan a trip on Caltrain visit

SamTrans will offer free rides from 11pm until 2am.

SF Muni is free from 8pm until 6am

Also BART is running until 3am, though rides are not free.

And if you’ve had too much closer to home, check this out:

AAA offers a free tow of a car up to five miles through its Tipsy Tow Program. The offer, good from 6 p.m. Dec. 31 through 6 a.m. Jan. 1 is offered to all drivers in Northern California, membership is not required. Those in need of a tow can call (800) 222-4357 (AAA-HELP).

Is this What High Speed Rail is Going to Mean?

HANCSM Board Member Ben Toy forwarded these renderings. Our neighborhood will be changed by High Speed Rail, and the time to act is now!

Here are some links:
Peninsula Cities Consortium a group “educating, connecting, and involving the public in high speed rail decisions”
Caltrain HSR Compatibility Blog a blog “to discuss how the California High Speed Rail project will be integrated with Caltrain on the peninsula corridor between San Francisco and San Jose”
California High Speed Rail Authority the state’s official site and dedicated to getting the high speed rail project completed

Stepping up Leash Law Enforcement

According to the San Mateo Daily Journal:
San Mateo is stepping up enforcement efforts regarding dogs off-leash in the city’s parks, according to Sheila Canzian, director of Parks and Recreation.

The department is receiving a large number of contacts from park users to rangers complaining about dogs off leash and safety concerns, according to a letter written to a concerned resident by Canzian.

Read more here

Police Alert:

We have identified a series of strong arm street robberies in and around the Central/North Central area. Six incidents have occurred in the past 6 days, between the hours of 7:00PM and 1:00AM within a four block radius of South Delaware and Cypress Streets.

These incidents appear to be related as they all involve a Hispanic male adult walking or bicycling through the area, being accosted by a group of African American male suspects wearing hooded sweatshirts. Some of the crimes involved physical assaults; others just consisted of grabbing and restraining the victim while removing cash and property from them.

The victims in these cases were unable to get a full description of the suspects, and we are asking for the public’s help in this matter. Please contact the San Mateo Police Department Investigations Unit 650-522-7650 or the Secret Witness Line 650-522-7676 if you have any information.

The Police Department has given this case the highest priority and assigned officers to an operational plan which includes plain clothes surveillance, exhaustive investigation, work with allied agencies, and high profile patrols of the area. Neighborhood Watch groups and the neighboring residents have been notified, and we encourage the community to be aware of their surroundings, and assist us as our “eyes and ears” in the community.