Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Credit Card Thief Messes with the Wrong Group

If you study unusual credit card crimes long enough, it doesn't take long before you notice certain patterns. Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy, in that order, seem to be the favorite places for criminals to shop with stolen cards, according to my unscientific observations. Surveillance video is a law enforcement's best friend when it comes to credit card crimes. And credit card capers often seem typical, except for one really unusual element that sets them apart from the rest.

With that in mind, here's our monthly round-up of the latest and not-so greatest in unusual credit card crimes.

Typical credit card crime: Johnny Anthony Cervantes, of Victoria, Texas, is, at the time of this writing, still at large and wanted by the police for allegedly stealing and using a credit card.

Cervantes allegedly took a wallet left carelessly on the hood of a car, and used a credit card from that wallet to make $76 in purchases at a convenience store, according to a Victoria Advocate news report.

In any case, so far, pretty typical crime.

What makes this different: The car and wallet belonged to a police officer. In fact, at least one card in the wallet belongs to the Victoria Police Officers Association. If you're going to steal from somebody, helping yourself to money that belongs to local law enforcement isn't really the sort of thing that's going to make you a successful career criminal. Probably the only dumber move you could make would be to steal from the FBI.

It isn't clear from the Victoria Advocate's account whether the car was a marked police car -- let's assume for Cervantes' sake that it wasn't. Nevertheless, if he looked through the wallet, according to the Victoria Advocate, he would have found enough forms of ID that he should have recognized what he had.

On the other hand, according to the surveillance video (see? very handy tool for the authorities), Cervantes looked drunk, which might explain why he didn't notice.

Speaking of drunk, just as an aside, I have to bring up a story I read in a police blotter. No credit cards involved in this story, but a 20-year-old Ohio man was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct a few weeks ago for playing music and video games too loudly -- it was after 3 a.m. He resisted arrest and lobbed obscenities at the officers -- and after being cuffed, asked about the job opportunities available at the police department.

Typical credit card crime: Two women went on a shopping spree at a Target in Easton, Ohio. They paid using a card they stole from a woman's purse as she ate dinner at an area restaurant. About as banal as can be, as these sorts of crimes go.

What makes this different: The women racked up $20,530 in charges on this shopping spree. That's an impressive credit line. I kind of wish the victim and I were friends.

Typical credit card crime: Credit cards vanished from two Denver-area hospitals. Unfortunately, this isn't all that unusual. You're taking a chance leaving your purse or wallet in open view while in public -- even at a seemingly safe place like a school or church.

What makes this different: These crimes aren't isolated incidents. Two hospitals were struck, a day apart, and three women were apparently involved in these crimes. Authorities believe that they've fingered two women in surveillance video, who are seen wearing hospital masks, wandering the halls, looking like they belong there... a third woman has been spotted in, yet, again, surveillance video, using the stolen credit cards. No word yet on where the third woman went shopping, but my money is on Wal-Mart or Target.

This article Credit Card Thief Messes with the Wrong Group originally appeared on

Your credit card may soon be completely worthless
The plastic in your wallet is about to go the way of the typewriter, the VCR, and the 8-track tape player. When it does, a handful of investors could stand to get very rich. You can join them -- but you must act now. An eye-opening new presentation reveals the full story on why your credit card is about to be worthless -- and highlights one little-known company sitting at the epicenter of an earth-shaking movement that could hand early investors the kind of profits we haven't seen since the dot-com days. Click here to watch this stunning video.

You may also enjoy these credit articles:

How the Target data breach made me worst mom of the year

My credit card was stolen, but it's still in my wallet!

How my mom lost $640 in credit card rewards

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2952200, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/4/2015 5:22:21 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Card Ratings
CardRatings is the leading comprehensive free source for comparing credit card offers. The site has been educating consumers, publishing news and providing expert advice on credit cards and debt since 1998.

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,102.38 -272.38 -1.66%
S&P 500 1,921.22 -29.91 -1.53%
NASD 4,683.92 -49.58 -1.05%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes