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Arrest Thwarts Skimming Scam
An Escalon businessman was arrested but his brother remains at large, following a three-month investigation into a major credit card skimming operation.

Phakdey Liv, 40, of Escalon was booked at San Joaquin County Jail on suspicion of felony identity theft after his arrest on Friday, June 8. Liv, owner of All City Automotive on Main Street, was identified along with his brother Phalla Liv, 34, as suspects in the skimming operation several months ago.

In late February, search warrants were executed at the Main Street business and a credit card skimming device was confiscated from the location. In addition, police recovered numerous items from Phakdey Liv's home, determined to have been purchased with the stolen credit card information.

"The investigation continued after the execution of the search warrant and additional victims were identified," said investigating officer Anthony Hardgraves.

That led to the issuance of arrest warrants for the Liv brothers on Friday and officers were able to arrest Phakdey Liv in connection with the case.

Police said the two would skim credit card information from customers who had vehicle work done at All City, then take the skimmer to a third party in Stockton, with the information being copied onto counterfeit credit cards.

Hardgraves said a total of 19 victims were identified as having their information tied to the scam through All City Automotive. The brothers used the credit cards to purchase goods and services ranging from iPads to video games, clothing to food and a variety of household goods, with the charges in excess of $27,000. Purchases were made in stores as far south as San Diego, as far north as Citrus Heights and as far west as San Jose.

Further court action is pending for Phakdey Liv and police are still on the lookout for Phalla Liv.