Skimming device was ‘first spotted in Chichester’, confirm police

THE SCAM device found at a Chichester bank earlier this month is the first of its kind spotted in the city, according to police.

A spokeswoman confirmed that the skimming tool, fitted to cash machines and used to obtain confidential bank details, had been examined by forensic investigators.

But they had failed to find anything to lead them to the criminal responsible for installing it at the HSBC cashpoint in East Street.

“The device was forensically examined but had a negative result and we are not aware of any other similar incidents,” she said.

Last week the Observer reported that Alan Gibbs was using the machine outside HSBC branch on Monday, January 2, when he spotted a skimming device attached to the front. He ripped it off and handed it to police.

“I don’t know how many cards had been read on there; there could have been thousands of pounds’ worth,” he said.

The 43-year-old, who lives in Hampshire, said he was only able to recognise the device after watching programmes about UK customs searches: “If you didn’t know what you were looking for, you would miss it.”

A spokesperson for HSBC Bank said staff at the branch were unaware of the potential crime, but she warned customers to be vigilant and report anything suspicious to the police.

Readers praised his quick-thinking actions on our website, “You deserve a medal, Mr Gibbs!” wrote Stephen Barr, while another, logged in as Tonanti216, said: “It is a bit worrying that the bank hadn’t been checking the machines on a regular basis for this well-known scanning device!”