On Friday, Jan. 12, at about 4:45 p.m., Russells Point Police officers received a call from Lester’s Tobacco Shop regarding two males attempting to purchase over $800 in cigarettes and other merchandise. Officers responded and learned two black males in their 30s attempted to purchase the items with multiple credit cards, all of which were declined. The males then left the store without any merchandise and entered an early 2000’s tan SUV, possibly a Chevy Tahoe, with unknown out-of-state license plates, and left the area.
While officers were speaking with employees there, they learned the same males purchased over $300 of cigarettes and other merchandise at the Village Pantry prior to the incident at Lester’s. In that instance, three black males entered the store and the first credit card they provided was declined before the second card was accepted.
We have reason to believe the credit cards used by these individuals are cards re-encoded with information stolen from unsuspecting card holders.
Witnesses stated the males claimed they were from Chicago, Illinois. Attached are photos of one of the males. Anyone with information is asked to contact our office.
Officers from the Washington Township Police Department are investigating a similar case in which individuals were caught attempting to use multiple credit cards re-encoded with stolen information at the Midway Marathon.
This is the second case of this sort investigated by the Russells Point Police Department within the last couple years.
We recommend all business owners review their credit card transaction policies with their employees, and included the following:
· Match Id with card holder
· Match Signatures
· Match last 4 digits on credit receipt with the last 4 on the card
o if the numbers do not match, fraud should be suspected
· The following should be considered suspicious:
o Individuals attempting to buy multiple gift cards with multiple credit cards
o Individuals attempting to run multiple cards
o Multiple Cards being declined
o Individuals attempting to buy multiple cartons of cigarettes or tobacco products
Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Submitted by Joe Freyhof, Chief of Police, Russells Point Police Department.