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ORC 12-4-15




Irvine, CA: "Short Change Artist" busted - hit 150 Big-box stores across CA, AZ and Utah
A 29-year-old Long Beach woman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of felony commercial burglary at big-box retail stores in three states, according to Irvine police. Since 2013, Ashlie Pentard went to about 150 Target stores in California, Utah and Arizona and defrauded them out of more than $10,000 in a "short-change" scheme, said Farrah Emami, spokeswoman for the Irvine Police Department. "In each case, the suspect entered the store and made a small purchase with cash," Emami said in a statement. "When the cashier provided change, Pentard would quickly switch the large bills with smaller bills and insist the store had provided her with short change." The usual loss for the store on each transaction was about $100. Police say several of these transactions happened at Targets in Irvine and detectives began an investigation that led them to identify Pentard as the suspect. Police found similar crimes had happened at an unspecified number of Wal-Mart, Home Depot and other stores. Target officials kept information about the thefts and provided it to Irvine police for its investigation. On Thursday afternoon, detectives traced Pentard and observed her committing the same kind of theft at a Costa Mesa Target and arrested her outside the store.

Greenfield, WI: Identity thieves traveling to Wisconsin to commit crimes; 5 arrested
Employees at the Greenfield Best Buy smelled trouble when a woman tried to get a cellphone and presented a South Carolina ID. They called police. "Basically, within an hour of renting their car, we have them stopped already after making the attempt at our Best Buy, trying to purchase phones with stolen IDs," Greenfield police Capt. David Patrick said. Police arrested three New Yorkers fresh off a plane and seized stolen IDs in the names of real South Carolina residents. Oak Creek police recently arrested two New Yorkers at the Red Roof Inn after a taxi driver became suspicious. He'd been driving two guys from store to store. Oak Creek arrested Bradley Beauge and James Pierre and seized a credit card encoding device, fraudulent cards, and 10 iPads in boxes in their hotel room. Court records say the suspects had previously come to Milwaukee, where Beauge bought the stolen cards on a website, wired money to Ukraine and then got instructions to ship the iPads to a drop box.

Schuylkill Co, PA: U.S. Attorney to prosecute $145,000 credit card fraud case
County prosecutors have withdrawn charges against a Shenandoah man and woman involved in a credit card fraud operation allowing the case to be prosecuted federally by the United States Attorney. Carrie F. Aker, 43, and Mario M. Valentine, 32, were arrested Sept. 28 and charged with running the operation that resulted in over $140,000 in illegal purchases. During the 11 months the crimes were being committed, Urban and Everk said the two used the fake credit cards to make purchases totaling $145,866.59 at stores in Schuylkill, Luzerne, Dauphin and other counties through Pennsylvania. Among the many stores the cards were used included Weis Market in Hazleton, Turkey Hill stores, Kmart, Home Depot stores, McDonald's restaurants, Sears, Cracker Barrel restaurants and numerous others. In addition to making the fraudulent purchases, police said that Aker and Valentine attempted to make additional purchases totaling $40,250.54, but those sales were declined.

Mobile, AL: Three Suspects caught with more than 100 cloned credit cards
Three people are in Mobile County Metro Jail charged with identity theft involving cloned credit cards. All three are from Georgia, but there are more than a hundred victims from across the country, including some in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Mobile Police got a break when a victim reported their credit card had been used at an electronics store on Airport Boulevard. The suspects were still in the area when police arrived. Police confiscated 130 cloned credit cards.

Update: Salem, NH: Manchester theft ring target Salem mall
for North Face jackets
Police arrested five people on Wednesday at the Mall at Rockingham Park who attempted to leave Macy's with $2,225 worth of North Face jackets and planned to resell them at a "virtual store," according to a police affidavit. Police were called to the Macy's store on Wednesday after being alerted by store security that three shoplifters were in the store. Officer were told that a group of five individuals had taken a number of North Face jackets, "entered a fitting room together, and concealed the jackets in Macy's bags," Officer Nicholas Turner said in a sworn affidavit. Police said one of the men, Tyrone Christopher Hall, 21, of Manchester has numerous other theft-related convictions. He is currently on parole for armed robbery out of the Manchester, police said. Hall and others are facing felony charges of engaging in an organized retail crime enterprise.

ORC 12-4-15
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