Punta Gorda Police implement new Skim Reaper device to keep you safe

Reporter: Erika Jackson
Published: Updated:
Skim Reaper device is being utilized by Punta Gorda Police Department.

A new device being used to protect your money will be placed at gas stations across Punta Gorda, and that’s not the only place.

Police also plan to use the new technology called “Skim Reaper.”

It’s meant to help detect skimmers before someone steals your information.

Punta Gorda resident Tom Hudson calls himself lucky, “I’ve never been a victim… yet.”

As many as 2,800 skimmers have been found in Florida since 2015.

DOCUMENT: Read the full Punta Gorda skimmer ordinance here

Now, the City of Punta Gorda hopes to steer clear of adding to those statistics with the help of a new invention.

Lt. Justin Davoult with PGPD says, “The device is as thin as a credit card. If the red light is lit, it’s indicating that there’s a skimmer on the machine. If the blue light comes on, then its indicating that the machine is clear of any skimmers.”

Punta Gorda police are partnering with the University of Florida to test out the skim reaper – the first agency to try it in Southwest Florida.

“Anything we can do to be more proactive than reactive to prevent that crime from happening we want to encourage,” Lt. Justin Davoult said.

He says the nearly $500 investment for each device is worth it if it protects one person from falling victim, and giving more shoppers peace of mind.

Officers can now also use it to check for skimming devices at ATM’s and retail credit card machines.

They will start using the Skim Reaper at random spots throughout the month.

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