If there's a theme in our latest look at credit card crime, it's probably luck. Maybe we're stretching things with our tales of karma, but still, for the most part with these stories, either the thief had some bad fortune, or the victim likely feels lucky to be alive. In any case, some mostly happy endings are ahead.
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What are the odds, really?
Talk about good luck. Waiel "Wally" Mohamad Shihadeh, 39, of Bossier City, La. won $700,000 in the Louisiana Lottery.
Talk about bad luck. The day after he picked up his winnings, he was arrested for credit card fraud.
As it turns out, Shihadeh had allegedly been at his fraud before winning the lottery. It was just, well, luck, that made him a lottery winner one day, a possible felon the next. He owns a truck shop in Minden, La., and he got into a scheme with a truck driver, in which the truck driver used his company's credit card to charge for more fuel than he was actually buying. The truck driver, Thorne Thornton, would then split the extra cash with Shihadeh, allegedly netting them each about $1,500.
On the plus side for Shihadeh, thanks to his lottery earnings, he was able to post his $36,500 bond. According to the web site KTBS.com, Shihadeh's fellow prisoners kept asking him if he would post their bonds, too.
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If you believe in karma, this woman is toast
In the village of Caledonia, Wis., police arrested a woman, Amanda McGettrick, 40, charging her with stealing a wallet out of a room in a church.
A priest's wallet.
I'd hate to be explaining away that one to someone at the pearly gates, or to a judge. The, "Gee, I'm sorry, and it was just an impulsive stupid thing to do," defense probably won't work.
The week before, McGettrick, who is allegedly part of a ring of credit card thieves, was arrested for doing something similar - stealing a credit card from a nursing home.
According to the local station WITI-TV, McGettrick and a boyfriend bought gift cards with the credit cards they stole, and then sold them and then bought crack cocaine. It's nice to see that they had a good reason for stealing. You wouldn't want to find out that it was frivolous.
And if you believe in karma, this company should be in great shape
Vero Beach, Fla., police recently recovered five large tents purchased with a stolen credit card, and when they contacted Coleman, the company that made them, they were told to donate the Elite Montana tents to a worthy cause.
And so the five tents, which hold eight people each and are worth a collective $900, were donated to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Specifically, three tents are going to the Indian River District Gulf Stream Council Boy Scouts of America, and two to the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida.
Dumb luck crook alert
In Akron, Ohio, Gary P. Brainard, 42, allegedly did a really rotten thing.
It's one thing to hail a cab driver late at night, have him take you to another part of the city and then rob him, but was it really necessary to strike the poor guy in the face with a brick?
So Brainard, with the cab driver's wallet and cell phone now in his possession, apparently left the cab driver on the street and drove away. Later, he abandoned the car, which police found, with three slashed tires.
Once the cab driver was discovered - he is described by the Akron Beacon Journal and Akron's WOIO-TV as having "minor injuries" - the police spread out, looking for the suspect. Fortunately, Brainard made it pretty easy for them.
Brainard walked up to a car and offered to use his credit card to buy $40 worth of gas for the driver, in exchange for $10 in cash. The driver, fortunately, recognized Brainard by the description the cab driver had offered up.
Yes, that's right. The driver, who was an undercover detective, got out of his car and arrested Brainard.
Now that's service!
Earlier this month, reports the FOX-TV affiliate in Memphis, Tenn., a man came into a BP gas station and attempted to use a credit card. It was declined, and so he went on his merry way.
Only he came back later that night with an associate and a gun. He then held up the store clerk and made her sit on the floor while they held up the store. Fortunately, she wasn't injured, and, hey, if these crooks ever give up their current professions, perhaps they should go into another line of work, like customer service.
A customer came into the store while one of the men was behind the counter, taking cash and cigarettes, but instead of making a scene, the crook apparently hid his weapon and rang up the customer's charges. Which resulted in everyone leaving the store alive and well, including the two thieves, who are still at large.
The original article can be found at CardRatings.com:
Credit card thief wins lottery, plus jail time