Cape Coral passes ordinance to crack down on gas skimmers

For so many drivers, heading to the pump also means watching out for crooks trying to steal your money.

“I don’t think we can ever be safe enough. With the way things are going nowadays and the technology today,” said Cape Coral resident Tony Milano.

“I used it (my card) at a 7-11 and the next thing I know I start getting these charges all up and down the east coast,” added Cape Coral resident Charles Quinn.

Quinn says he lost about $100 thanks to a credit card skimmer.

“You have to call the credit card company, and you have to cancel the card, and then you have to watch everything and make sure over the next 30 days that you get credited back for everything that you get charged. And it took several months,” he said.

Cape Coral Police hope a new ordinance will help crack down on those skimmers, requiring gas stations to put a visible locking device on each pump or face a steep fine.

“I’m worried about every place,” said Cape Coral resident Michelle Peterson. “You go to a restaurant, you don’t want to give anyone your credit card any more, you don’t want anyone to have their hands on it.”

Naples Police say they promote crime prevention to help keep gas skimming devices from appearing in the city.

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office says they’re also looking into an anti-gas skimmer ordinance, saying, “Our Economic Crimes Sergeant has been waiting to review the proposal from Cape Coral with the intention of drafting something similar for our command staff’s review.”

The idea behind the Cape’s proposed ordinance is something consumers could be seeing across Southwest Florida.

“They can just take advantage of anybody anytime. So yeah definitely the safer the better I think,” Milano said.

It wouldn’t be an immediate change, however. It would go into effect in May.

Reporter:Brooke Shafer
Writer:Erica Brown