GONZALES — Two Seguin men were arrested in connection with a string of credit card cloning and theft cases, officials say.
On Sept. 18, Officer Alberto Carrera was dispatched to the Buccees store in reference to a person using a stolen credit card to make purchases, Capt. Allen Taylor reported. Upon arrival the officer spoke with the store manager, who told him the suspects left the store but not before she had gotten the license plate number of their vehicle, a silver Nissan Sentra. The vehicle was registered to a man named Angel Alarcon Arais, 44, of Seguin, Taylor said.
“Management told officers these suspects had been in the store purchasing items since the beginning of August,” Taylor said. “They were told that these same suspects had also been using stolen credit cards at the Buccees in Luling.”
During the investigation, Investigator Jason Montoya learned that this credit card was used at other locations such as Circle K and Valero, and obtained video footage that showed the same men, Taylor said.
“During the investigation, it was found that these two subjects had attempted to use eight different credit cards belonging to eight different card holders,” Taylor said. “Two of the card holders were contacted, and they said they still had their cards - they were not lost or stolen, which indicated the cards had been cloned.”
GPD later learned that a credit card skimming device was found at a gas station in Cedar Park, and notified the Cedar Park Police Department. It was learned that two of the card holders had been to the station, Taylor said.
Montoya tracked the vehicle’s registration number to a Seguin address for the second suspect, identified as Rafael E. Fonseca Vega, 38, of Seguin.
County Judge David Bird issued a warrant for the men’s arrest on Sept. 25, and a search warrant was obtained to search two apartments in Seguin. Officers with Gonzales, Seguin and Cedar Park police departments as well as US Secret Service and DPS intelligence met in Seguin and executed the search warrants, but the suspects were not found in either apartment, Taylor said.
“Both subjects were entered as wanted, and the vehicle was flagged,” Taylor said. “On Sept. 28 at 3 p.m., GPD was notified that the suspects had been taken into custody. They had been stopped by the US Border Patrol at the checkpoint near Kingsville.”
The men were arrested and transferred to the Kennedy County Sheriff’s Office, then to Kelburg County before being taken to Gonzales County Jail on Oct. 1. They are charged with credit card abuse.