Camden County Prosecutor Warren W. Faulk and Stratford Police Chief Ronald Morello reported the arrests of three men accused of stealing credit card numbers from customers at a Stratford gas station throughout this summer.
The arrests are part of a larger investigation that spans from Camden County to Bensalem, PA. Arrests in Bensalem approximately three weeks ago provided clues that credit card thefts were happening in New Jersey, which led Camden County and Stratford authorities to open an investigation.
Edgard Venegas, M/24, of the 200 block of Gibbsboro Road in Clementon, and Louis Gonzalez, M/33, of the 100 block of Pierce Street in Lindenwold, are both charged with Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, Credit Card Theft, and Criminal Use of a Scanning Device. They were both arrested October 1. A third defendant, Mark Chamberlain, M/29, of the 700 block of 7th Street in Philadelphia, was arrested October 2 and charged with Conspiracy to Commit Theft, Credit Card Theft and Criminal Use of a Scanning Device. Venegas and Gonzalez were released on summonses and Chamberlain is being held at the Camden County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.
It is alleged Chamberlain recruited the two other defendants, attendants at an Exxon station on the first block of the White Horse Pike in Stratford, to provide him with credit card information in exchange for cash. He is accused of giving them a pocket-sized magnetic electronic card reader that was able to pull a card number, expiration date and CVV code from credit cards’ magnetic strips. The two men are charged with using the reader to steal customers’ card information while filling the customers’ gas tanks. Chamberlain is accused of visiting the Stratford Exxon station every few days to download the card information from the reader and then used the information to make purchases.
The thefts appear to have started in late July 2013 and approximately 50 people have been identified as victims. Camden County Prosecutor’s Office detectives are maintaining an open investigation to determine if more were targeted. Bensalem Police are conducting an investigation into similar
activities at a gas station in their community that also may be linked to Chamberlain. Part of the ongoing investigation is determining the value of the items charged to victims’ credit cards.
Anyone in Camden County who may also have been victimized by these men is urged to contact Camden County Prosecutor’s Office at Detective Vincent McCalla (856) 225-8569 or Stratford Police Detective Mike Williams at (856) 783-8621.