Minden Press-Herald

Oct 02nd

Credit card criminal caught

Thomas_JonesA Minden man played the wrong card, got caught and could be looking at some serious jail time.

Thomas L. Jones, 29, of the 200 block of S. Roosevelt Street, has been arrested by Minden Police for racking up more than $11,000 in purchases and attempted purchases with a stolen credit card number.

He was charged with unauthorized use of an access card, theft of assets of an aged person and traffic violations in Claiborne and Webster parishes.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said on June 24 officer Joel Kendrick received a report from a couple in reference to a stolen credit card number.

"Off. Kendrick passed the information on to detectives Heath Balkom and Chris Cheatham," Cropper said. "They contacted the victims and learned the wife of the couple had been in a local business to pay a bill and accidentally left her purse there."

Cropper said the woman received a phone call from the business, and she returned to get her purse.

"She remembered she had left it on the floor, but when she returned to the business, it had been moved," Cropper said.

Soon after, the victim reportedlly began noticing transactions on the credit card to places she didn't use, such as online electronics stores.

The chief said when the victims reported it, and Balkom and Cheatham began investigating, they discovered that Jones was an employee of the business where the victim left her purse.

"These unauthorized purchases on the victim's credit card were made in Jones' name," Cropper said. "So, they brought him in and interviewed him. He ended up admitting to actual purchases totalling more than $6,300."

The chief said Jones was paying bills and making purchases by typing in the victim's credit card number.

"He paid his truck note, bought computers to resell and bought furniture," Cropper said. "He ordered two computers, but the address he was giving online did not match up to the credit card billing address, so the purchases were denied."

Cropper said Jones also went to a local furniture store and bought $2700 worth of furniture with the credit card number.

"The business worked with us, and we recovered the purchased merchandise and returned it to the store," Cropper said. "They gave the victims a full refund on their card."






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