Smithville Police Nab Trio in Credit Card and Mail Theft Scam

August 25, 2022
By: Dwayne Page

Three men found locally with fake credit cards along with $ 30,000 worth of stolen checks out of Kentucky have been arrested by Smithville Police as part of a multi-state and federal investigation into crimes including mail theft and armed robbery.

25-year-old Anthony Marquall Love of McMinnville and formerly of Flint, Michigan, 19-year-old Rodney Ray Lee Sheridan Jr. of Columbus, Ohio, and 18-year-old Raymond Anton Walker also of Columbus, Ohio have been charged locally with two counts of criminal simulation and theft over $ 10,000 (possession of stolen mail). All three men are currently being held in the DeKalb County Jail under bonds of $ 200,000 each.

The suspects are also persons of interest in at least one-armed robbery of a US Postal delivery employee in Kentucky which enabled the perpetrators to commit the mail thefts.

“The description of the people who robbed the postal worker matched the description even down to the car of the people we have,” said Smithville Police Chief Mark Collins.

According to Chief Collins, the trio tried unsuccessfully Saturday night, August 20 to use a fake credit card to purchase merchandise from both the local Walmart and Dollar General store on South Congress Boulevard. A similar scam was successfully carried out by others in May at Walmart in Smithville where $ 9,000 worth of merchandise was stolen. No arrests have been made in that incident.

At the time of their arrests Saturday night, the trio had in their rented car 132 checks from account holders made out to businesses and others in Louisville, Kentucky from mail thought to have been stolen from post office boxes there.

Investigators believe the suspects rifled through the mail looking for the checks and intended to put money from those checks into a bank account through an online mobile deposit transaction before withdrawing the cash once it was in the bank.

Chief Collins said investigators believe this scam is part of an organized group originating in Michigan where one of these men is from but that scams of this type are occurring all over the country.

Pending the outcome of the state and federal investigations, these three men may face additional charges elsewhere.

“Outside agencies from Kentucky and Ohio as well as Federal Agencies are all conducting investigations into these subjects due to matters occurring in their jurisdictions,” said Chief Collins.

In a prepared statement, Chief Collins described for the local media Thursday how the case unfolded for Smithville Police.

“On Saturday night, August 20th at 7:50 pm the Smithville Police Department received a call from Walmart security who stated that two black males had just tried to obtain merchandise with a fake credit card. They left in a dark colored Dodge possibly with Georgia tags. The method attempted was similar to an attempt made by other individuals in May where over $ 9,000 worth of merchandise was taken (from Walmart), ”said Chief Collins.

“We asked for extra patrols at Walmart looking for the car matching the description. Thirteen minutes later an officer of the police department reported that another officer had spotted the vehicle at the Dollar General Store in Smithville next to Save A Lot. Once the vehicle pulled out of the parking lot, it was stopped. Three people were in the automobile. Shortly after Detectives Brandon Donnell and James Cornelius arrived on the scene and began their investigation upon confirming the identity of the suspects through a photo. A search was conducted of the suspects’ persons as well as the vehicle. During the search, several credit cards were found, two of which were later identified by the store cashiers as the cards the suspects tried to use. Also, during the search, a large bundle of checks made out to several different businesses and individuals were found which were later determined to be stolen. Those stolen checks were believed to have been from an armed robbery of a postal delivery worker in Kentucky, ”Chief Collins continued.

“All three suspects were detained at the traffic stop and transported to the Smithville Police Department for further investigation. After statements were taken from cashiers at both Walmart and the Dollar General Store, and surveillance video was reviewed and gathered, the suspects were placed under arrest. All three were charged with two counts of criminal simulation, a Class E felony. Since then, each person has been charged with theft over $ 10,000. Each is in jail under a $ 200,000 bond, ”said Chief Collins.

“Our investigation reveals that the subjects tried to use the fake card in the card reader at Walmart, but it did not work. The cashier was told by the suspects to follow the instructions on the back of the card to run the transaction as cash trying to lead the cashier to believe it would go through as a credit transaction when it in fact was to be for only a cash transaction but with no actual cash exchanging hands. The cashier said she was not able to complete the transaction and led the men to the customer service desk. The subjects then said they would try to get cash from the Walmart ATM machine. They said they had called the card service number and were told to give the card to the employee and to have her follow the instructions on the back of the card. The Walmart employee said she could not do that because the card transaction had to be completed through the card reader. The subjects then left the store and went to Dollar General Store unsuccessfully trying the same scam, ”he added.

Chief Collins also praised his detectives and officers on the good job they did in working this case.

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