Two men accused in Murfreesboro credit card theft scheme
Murfreesboro police spokesman Sgt. Kyle Evans
MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -
With the data breaches at Target and other stores affecting millions of people, high-tech credit card fraud is a concern for a lot of people.
But police in Murfreesboro said they caught a pair of crooks from Michigan allegedly conducting a much more low-tech approach.
An embossment credit card-making machine, nearly 200 credit cards, a laptop and other items were confiscated by police.
"This is a machine that's actually used to imprint the number and information on the cards," said Murfreesboro police spokesman Sgt. Kyle Evans while pointing at the machine.
Police said the suspects were using sandpaper, straight-edge razors and acetone to wipe the cards clean before restamping stolen information on them.
"They would be sold as fake credit cards with possible real victims' names and real credit card information on them," Evans said.
The alleged credit card fraud ring was busted when two Murfreesboro policemen on routine patrol at the Select Inn Motel on south Church Street last week smelled marijuana coming from one of the rooms.
Aaron Perry, 22, and Hugh Slater, 27, gave police consent to search their room, and the officers found marijuana and the credit card equipment.
"We believe they were traveling up and down the interstate system, paying for their way as they go using the credit cards that they were selling and manufacturing," Evans said.
Investigators with the Tennessee Highway Patrol are also interested in this case. They met with investigators Monday in Murfreesboro to see if the two men had any involvement in any other credit card fraud cases they may be working.
Last year, Murfreesboro police worked a multi-state credit card number theft ring where a group of people were captured on video using fake credit cards.
Investigators will be checking to see if the two cases are possibly connected.
"Any time we see this number of credit cards being manufactured certainly raises red flags," Evans said. "We'll investigate to see if there's a connection to the 2013 case that was similar in nature to this."
Police believe the stolen credit card numbers could have been purchased online, but they say there is no way to tell right now if this is part of the credit card information breach at Target.
"This is a case where everybody loses: the retailer, the victim who had their ID and credit information stolen and the credit company," Evans said.
Slater and Perry are both facing criminal simulation and drug charges. They are scheduled to appear in court March 24.
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