California couple arrested for ID thefts

PLYMOUTH, Minn. (AP) — Authorities in a Twin Cities suburb say a California couple charged with stealing credit card identities from gas stations in Minnesota may be part of a more wide-spread criminal operation.

Twenty-nine-year-old Sarkis Mkhsyan and 28-year-old Gohar Yesayan, of Van Nuys, Calif., are each facing nine felony charges in Hennepin County. Plymouth police stopped the couple for speeding last week, suspected drug activity and searched their SUV. Officers say they found tools used to `skim’ credit card numbers from gas station customers who paid at the pumps.

A criminal complaint says the couple might be part of a larger operation that creates fake credit cards from stolen numbers. The Star Tribune says Mkhsyan was also recently charged with identity theft in California. Authorities sat Mkhsyan has traveled between California, Minnesota and Wisconsin.