Credit Card Fraud Arrest In West Seneca

January 14, 2011 Updated Jan 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM EDT

By Lou Chilelli

January 14, 2011 Updated Jan 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM EDT

Alert security personnel at a local supermarket may have provided police with a big break in a wide ranging investigation. Loss prevention officers at the Wegman's Supermarket on Orchard Park Road witnessed what they thought was suspicious behavior. "Upon our arrival, we confronted three New York City area men, who were using fraudulent credit cards to make very large purchases," said West Seneca Police Captain Patrick Shea.

Police say, that a search of the men uncovered more than 10,000 dollars in gift cards and more than 3,000 dollars in cash. Store personnel were on the lookout people using "skimmed" credit cards. "What skimming is, is somebody takes an electronic device, that is usually secreted on their person or maybe at a gas pump or at a point of purchase. They take the person's credit card and they would swipe it and they get that information off the credit card. They then dub that information onto an other credit card and then use it to make purchases," Shea added.

The three men have all been charged with several felony level crimes. The U.S. Secret Service has joined the investigation that has stores in New York and Pennsylvania reporting this type of fraud. The three men are being held at Erie County Holding Center. They are scheduled to be back in court next week.