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Unlocked car opens door for thief’s shopping spree

January 30, 2013
SPECIAL TO THE CITIZEN (mtoadvine@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is asking for the public's help identifying a man caught on camera racking up fraudulent charges at a Lehigh Acres Walmart, with a credit card that had been stolen from an unlocked car parked in a home's driveway.

The victim in this case left his wallet in his car during the late evening hours of January 5 on 4th Street SW in Lehigh. Less than 48 hours later, he was notified by his bank that there had been some suspicious charges made on his card, and that they had stopped additional payments. The card had been used at several businesses before it was shut down. At that point, the unsuspecting victim checked his vehicle, which was still unlocked, and found that his wallet, personal identification and credit card were missing, according to the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

Surveillance photos from Walmart show a white male with dark hair and a beard using the victim's card.

Article Photos

SPECIAL TO THE CITIZEN
If you can identify the man shown in this surveillance photo at the Lehigh Acres Walmart who is accused of stealing a credit card and using it at the Walmart. The suspect is a white male with dark hair and a beard.

Detectives now need the public's help putting a name, and location, to this man's face. Upon his arrest, he will be facing felony charges of burglary and larceny theft. The suspect is most likely familiar with the Lehigh area and is believed to be driving a darker colored, newer model Hyundai Azera, investigators said.

"This is another reminder for residents to take the simple step of locking their car doors, and not leaving any property of value inside their cars," said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers coordinator. "Many of these thieves will go from car to car, and when they find one that's unlocked, they're able to get in and out quickly and typically unnoticed. Not only are the victims putting their money at risk, but also their personal identification.

"Once your name, address, drivers license number, Social Security number and any other private information gets into the wrong hands, it can easily be parlayed into additional identity theft crimes," Routte said.

 
 

 

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