Just as credit cardholders can learn responsible borrowing, fraud can also be taught. This week’s collection of card crimes focuses on crimes involving schools, with a parent who apparently stole plastic from a teacher, a teacher who stole from the city to pay her credit card bills and a trio of students who broke into lockers in order to steal money, merchandise and plastic.
One criminal mother
June Cleaver she isn’t: A Stuart, Fla., mom had a busy March, allegedly both stealing a teacher’s credit card from her kid’s school and acting as a getaway driver during a robbery.
When a teacher found her in a classroom at Parker Elementary School on March 4, Cortina Renee Wobbleton had an explanation ready. She apparently indicated that while taking her child to school in the building, Wobbleton got lost. Wobbleton later left the classroom, as did the teacher’s credit card.
Wobbleton was arrested on March 17 for fraudulent use of the credit card, which was allegedly taken from the teacher’s purse and later used at local merchants. Based on an affidavit, surveillance video from a local Wal-Mart “showed Wobbleton use the card to make a $318 purchase the same afternoon,” TC Palm reports.
Wobbleton was already disqualified for Mother of the Year earlier that month, when she allegedly acted as the getaway driver during an armed robbery — with her two children in the car. Stuart police say Wobbleton and her 2-year-old and 5-year-old children waited in the car as one of her armed partners entered a Pizza Hut. While inside, “a gunman brandished a revolver and demanded money from the clerk while the accomplice watched the door. The gunman attempted to conceal his face while the accomplice wore a hockey mask,” a police press release states.
The spree was soon ended, however. After next robbing a Sunoco gas station, Wobbleton was arrested along with Damian T. Louissaint and David Lamar Lloyd.
For those alleged crimes, Wobbleton was charged with armed robbery with a firearm and aggravated child abuse. She was also deemed a bad candidate for participation in any school car pools.
N.J. teacher pleads guilty to theft of city funds
Ana Pastrana, a special education teacher and aide to Joseph Vas, the former mayor of Perth Amboy, N.J., pleaded guilty on March 30 to using city funds to buy personal items for her and Vas.
Pastrana became the second city official to admit involvement in the corruption scandal. A part-time recreation supervisor and middle school teacher, Pastrana acknowledged that she stole more than $500 from the Perth Amboy Housing Development Corp., a now-defunct city agency that administered Perth Amboy’s affordable housing program.
Pastrana said the stolen money was used to buy sneakers, beachwear and sportswear for herself and Vas. According to a report by myCentralJersey.com, “Pastrana admitted that she used city funds to pay off a credit card in her name that was used to purchase the sneakers and other personal items for herself and Vas under Vas’s direction. The theft lasted from Aug. 1, 2005, until July 1, 2006,” Pastrana testified.
Nevertheless, she shouldn’t see any jail time. Instead, “Pastrana could get probation under her plea deal with prosecutors, which will bar her from future public employment and require restitution,” reports DailyRecord.com.
Minn. high schoolers charged with stealing from gym lockers
Three Winona, Minn., students have been charged with stealing more than $1,300 in cash and merchandise from gym lockers in December, after prosecutors say that the boys broke padlocks to get at cash, cell phones, a credit card and an iPod stored inside.
Troubled teens? Not quite. This scholarly trio — two aged 16 and one aged 17 — are all honor students.
But there was little honor among these school chums. “Authorities say one teen implicated the other two after some of the items were found in his backpack,” the Associated Press reports.
Apparently, dimes weren’t the only things being dropped. “A criminal complaint says one of the teens was searched and police found nothing. The complaint says as he left the room he dropped a wad of cash, and when he stopped, more cash fell,” the AP reports.
Sounds like these guys should leave the lockers alone and just stick to cracking books.