Criminal Charges: Credit card crimes continue
Another week brings with it another assortment of credit card crime stories. This week, Criminal Charges includes tales of dumpster diving police, pizza-loving crooks and bigamy.
- They asked Max Reece if they could use his phone, but Joseph Andes and Ashely Norris instead rang up some fraudulent credit card charges, the Kingsport Times-News Online reports. The duo approached Reece outside his Elizabethton, Tenn., motel room at 1 a.m. When Reece went into the room after Norris left, he found his wife’s purse on the floor and two of her credit cards missing.
- The Sun Journal reports that a dumpster-diving cop found the evidence needed to arrest alleged burglars Harley R. Burke and Nathan Michael Martin of Freyburg, Maine, in the men’s trash, including beer cans matching those found at a burglary, a credit card that had been reported stolen, an AARP card and a driver’s license.
- Done in by a love of pie? A pizza delivery paid for with stolen plastic helped police locate Aleksey Simonchik of Warminster, Pa. According to the Bucks County Courier Times, Simonchik had agreed to sell an iPhone over craigslist.com to a Michigan man, but instead he used the card information to buy $1,748.52 worth in merchandise, including the $35 pizza delivery. Elsewhere, Nicholas Nasti of Interlaken, N.J., allegedly used a credit card stolen from a car to have a pizza delivered to his house, Alanticville reports.
- Diana Drinkard of South Lake Tahoe, Nev., will appear in court on Aug. 19 after she was allegedly caught on camera withdrawing $700 from a Bank of America ATM using a card left behind by another customer — all while Drinkard’s 10-year-old son watched, the Record-Courier reports.
- Be careful who your party guests are: Jessica R. Hall stands accused of stealing a credit card from a house party she attended in Rochester, N.Y., then using the card house later for a convenience store purchase on July 23, RocNow.com reports.
- The First United Methodist Church of Moore, Okla., apparently had a sinner for a business manager. Prosecutors say that Sonya Jo Ensey embezzled thousands of dollars in church funds — and also used two church credit cards — for personal expenses. Church staff uncovered the alleged crime when a church bank account was overdrawn while Ensey was away on vacation, the Norman Transcript reports.
- After holiday resort staff reported a group of two children with five adults, South African police thought they had located a child abduction or pornography ring. Instead, police apparently uncovered a a credit card and passport fraud syndicate, the Weekend Post reports. Arrests included a Nigerian man (seemingly the children’s father) who apparently had both a Nigerian and South African wife.
- So much for family. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Cody Wayne Jenkins of Cleburne, Texas, has been charged with stealing 38 guns, as well as a credit card used to make nearly $500 in charges, from his aunt and uncle’s home. Meanwhile, police say Tyler Klein-Furano of Norwalk, Conn., fraudulently used his parents’ credit card until he maxed it out, then began opening new cards in their names, charging over $13,000 to the accounts, the Hour reports.
- Elsewhere, the Age reports regulators in Australia are warning taxi riders to beware of cab drivers who claim a recent call center fire has impacted their electronic payment systems’ ability to accept credit cards. Some riders have complained of fraudulent charges later appearing after taxi drivers swipe the cards manually.
- According to the Orlando Sentinel, St. Cloud, Fla., police say that while working as the financial controller for a dental equipment company, Barbara L. Hackworth used company credit cards to treat herself to a variety of gifts valued at over $37,000, including flowers, Daytona 500 tickets and a pair of Tim McGraw tickets that cost $1,642.
Did I miss any unusual card crimes? Please post them (and a link to the source of those stories) below.