Article Comment 

Police still searching for suspects in computer, identity theft cases

 

Tim Pratt

 

STARKVILLE -- The Starkville Police Department is still searching for two suspects wanted for stealing four touch-screen computers from Wal-Mart over the past three months, and a woman suspected of illegally using another woman''s debit card to purchase items from the same store. 

 

Starkville police last week released security camera photos of two suspects wanted in the computer theft case and have since interviewed one person, but the man had a valid alibi and was not charged with the crime, SPD Detective Landon Stamps said Wednesday. 

 

Police also stopped a car matching the description of a vehicle seen at Wal-Mart during all three computer theft incidents -- a white, older-model, box-style Cadillac or Lincoln -- but the traffic stop yielded no suspects, Stamps said. 

 

"We have no (additional) leads as of yet ..." Stamps said. "At this time, I''ve got a blurry (security camera) picture and that''s about it." 

 

The latest computer theft took place the evening of Feb. 19, when a black male put two Hewlett Packard touch-screen desktop units in a cart and walked out of the store without paying, despite a greeter''s attempt to stop him, Stamps said. The man is described as middle-aged, between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, with a slender build. 

 

It was the second such incident in February. 

 

On Feb. 11, a different man, whom Stamps described as black, about 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-8, and younger than the suspect in the Feb. 19 theft, also attempted to leave Wal-Mart with two HP touch screen computers, but a greeter at the door stepped in front of the cart and put her hand on it to stop him, Stamps said. The suspect then left his cart and ran from the store. 

 

The same suspect did make it out of the store in a November incident, however, when he attempted to leave with two HP touch-screen computers without paying and a greeter asked to see his receipt. Instead of stopping, he continued walking out the door, Stamps said. 

 

The computers were valued at approximately $880 a piece. Both men tried disguising the computers by covering them with poster board, Stamps said. 

 

 

 

Identity theft 

 

Police also are calling on the public''s help to identity a woman who illegally used a Missouri woman''s debit card to purchase items at Wal-Mart in late January.  

 

The incident occurred the evening of Jan. 31, when a black female with two small children purchased a flat-screen television, several Nintendo Wii games and multiple iTunes gift cards, Stamps said. He did not disclose the amount of charges the suspect put on the victim''s debit card. 

 

The suspect first tried to use a different credit or debit card to make the purchases, but the card was rejected, Stamps said. It was only then when the suspect used the duplicate debit card, which can be obtained from a bank if a person says their original is lost, belonging to a woman from Missouri, he said. 

 

"The problem we''ve got is our victim is from out of state," Stamps said last week. "She''s never even been to Starkville. She didn''t even know where Starkville was. She has no idea how this (suspect) got a duplicate debit card." 

 

Police released security camera photos of the suspect walking out of Wal-Mart with a TV in her cart and the two children in tow, but she kept the hood of her white jacket on throughout her time in the store and no clear images of her face were available. Police also released an image of a dark, four-door vehicle exiting the Wal-Mart parking lot believed to have been driven by the suspect. 

 

Anyone with information on either case is asked to call the Starkville Police Department at 662-323-4131, or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment mike commented at 3/5/2010 2:26:00 PM:

All stores should ask to see Picture ID when using a credit card. The only reason they won't is because of all the money they would lose because of credit card fraud. Walmart knows it is happening everyday in each and every store. I would be glad to show my ID. It would drastically reduce the amount of stolen Identity.

 

Article Comment CHRISTOPHER ROLAND commented at 4/22/2010 9:28:00 AM:

sents 2002 i have had problems with my credit dont no why well i checked my credit report on the internet an some one from clinton ms, by a name: of christopher j roland an my name is christopher b roland his judgment an records an cases an money he owed was put on my credit for y i have no idea my ss is diff from his i have got in touch with the credit peolple no hekp by the police no help copying researce of that its not me no help what do i need too do my credit score was in the 800 its now in the 500 do too this problem ...

 

Article Comment Diann commented at 5/24/2010 5:43:00 AM:

My ID was stolen, I realized it in Feb 2009, I reported it to the Tuscaloosa County Sheiff's department, but they wouldn't even do a report for me so I could give it to the bank, And the bank of Wachovia is the one who started the ball a rolling, they changed my password with them not knowing the old one. until my son came home to visit he went with me, and after he questioned them, he gave me a report. but still has not done anything about it. They not only stole my things, but all of my empoyee's files with all of there information on it as well. It has been a night mare, and it is still going!

 

Article Comment Diann commented at 5/24/2010 5:44:00 AM:

My ID was stolen, I realized it in Feb 2009, I reported it to the Tuscaloosa County Sheiff's department, but they wouldn't even do a report for me so I could give it to the bank, And the bank of Wachovia is the one who started the ball a rolling, they changed my password with them not knowing the old one. until my son came home to visit he went with me, and after he questioned them, he gave me a report. but still has not done anything about it. They not only stole my things, but all of my empoyee's files with all of there information on it as well. It has been a night mare, and it is still going!

 

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