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Deputies seize more than 50 stolen debit cards, card skimmers during I-75 traffic stops in Valdosta

Posted at 1:54 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 13:54:36-04

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga.(WTXL) — Two traffic stops on I-75 led Lowndes County deputies to arrest three men who had dozens of stolen debit cards, thousands in cash and card skimming devices inside their cars.

According to the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, deputies conducted a two separate traffic stops on I-75 earlier this week.

Deputies say the first traffic stop was conducted on Monday at 6:10 p.m.

The vehicle was traveling under the speed limit and making all other traffic go around them. Deputies proceeded to stop the vehicle and identified the driver as Razvan Tutu and the passenger as Razvan Gava, who are citizens of Romania.

While conducting the traffic stop, deputies smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle, leading deputies to search the vehicle.

During the search, they found 26 debit, credit and gift cards hidden in the vehicle, which were found to have the encoded information of identity theft victims.

Deputies also found a little over $12,000, a card reader/writer, 2 card skimming devices, 1 micro-electronic storage device, marijuana, and MDMA which is commonly known as molly.

As a result of the search, Tutu and Gava were both arrested.

The second traffic stop happened on Tuesday afternoon. Deputies say they pulled Artur Soares over for driving while on his phone and failing to stay inside his lane.

During the traffic stop, deputies became suspicious while speaking with Soares and got permission to search the vehicle.

While searching the vehicle, deputies found approximately 50 fraudulent debit/gift cards inside. The cards were examined and found to contain encoded information from identity theft victims.

Deputies also found approximately $4,000 and a card reader they say is used for encoding cards. Based on evidence, Soares was arrested.

All three men were transported to the Lowndes County Jail for forgery of financial transaction cards, possession of fraud devices and possession of tools for a crime.

Deputies say they are continuing to investigate and additional charges may be forthcoming.