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Two Floridians arrested in skimming scheme

FILE - Unified police say they busted another skimming operation this week.
FILE - Unified police say they busted another skimming operation this week.
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SALT LAKE CITY — Unified police say they busted another skimming operation this week.

Lester Castaneda, 39, and Luis Enrique Jimenez-Gonzalez, 27, both of Florida, were arrested Monday night after investigators tracked their stolen rental car to a motel where plastic cards encoded with stolen debit and credit card information were found, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

Police were called when Onstar started tracking a stolen rental car. Officers observed the men get out of the car and go into a hotel room. Inside the room, detectives found "numerous credit cards" and a "card reader/writer that is used to clear and imprint the stolen information onto an existing card," the report states.

"While conducting an inventory of the stolen vehicle, we located numerous credit cards. In further investigation we found the credit cards were cloned cards with other victims' information encoded on the magnetic strip," police wrote in the report.

Castaneda was arrested for investigation of 30 counts of having a stolen bank card and obtaining encoded information off a financial transaction card, plus a federal detainer was placed on him.

Jimenez-Gonzalez was arrested for investigation of unlawful possession of a bank card, theft of a rental vehicle and obtaining encoded information off of a bank card. A federal detainer was also placed on him. The report says he previously was convicted in Illinois in 2015 of counterfeit card possession.

Recently, police in Centerville, Cottonwood Heights and Richfield have all arrested people in connection with skimming operations. In most cases, the suspects are people who travel across the country, spending about a week at a time in a city, setting up machines that collect information off the magnetic strips of people's bank cards. Those numbers are then sold on the dark web.