Suspect Wanted for Stealing Credit Cards from Soldiers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/06/06

Suspect Wanted for Stealing Credit Cards from Soldiers

Authorities want to talk to this man they say has been making purchases with stolen credit cards. Authorities want to talk to this man they say has been making purchases with stolen credit cards.
A thief is targeting soldiers at Hunter Army Airfield. Take a good look at him in this image from surveillance video. So far, detectives say he's stolen from three active-duty soldiers and one former soldier.

Each case has a lot in common, including a grocery store where the thief has used the stolen cards, the Kroger on Ogeechee Road near Lynes Parkway. Investigators say that seems to be the thief's favorite shopping spot. They have him on video using stolen credit cards here four different times. Since most of us shop close to where we live, investigators think that he may live close by and he has some kind of tie to Hunter.

Normally, when Troy Funk comes to the gym at Hunter Army Airfield, pumping iron is on his mind. But today, the former soldier was there to help police find the man who stole his credit card out of his gym locker.

"You're supposed to secure it, but I've been working out here four to five years and never had a problem," he said.

That was until the night of December 20. "Someone at some point went inside the locker and took the debit card inside the wallet," said Funk. "I didn't know it was missing until the next morning. I got a call from my bank later that afternoon around 11am."

By then, the thief had already done some serious shopping. This image was taken from surveillance video of him at the Wal-Mart on Highway 17. Detectives say he bought a microwave there. He also bought jewelry and clothes at the Savannah Mall, did some grocery shopping and bought gas.

"It was right around a thousand dollars racked up between 6am and 11am, so in five hours," said Funk.

Investigators say the thief also took credit cards from three active-duty soldiers--including an Army chaplain--while they worked out at the gym. "The individual only takes the credit card, not the wallet or any other personal belongings," noted Det. John Marshall with the Department of Defense.

Each time, the thief went on a shopping spree. Investigators need your help to stop him. "He's a thief and we have some consideration that he may steal from here again," said Marshall.

Funk doesn't want to see that happen. "You're taking advantage of the soldiers who are out there day in and day out," he said. "It really bothers me."

If you have any information which can help investigators, call CrimeStoppers at 234.2020 or Hunter Army Airfield at 315.6133.

The victims' banks and credit card companies are covering the fraudulent charges.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

 

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