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Location: Scotts Valley, CA, United States

Monday, September 04, 2006

Identity theft alert issued - Police say ring targets eateries

The next time you go through a drive-through of a fast-food restaraunt, or even a fine restaraunt, don't be impatient if the cashier is slower than you think they should be. RELAX, they are stealing YOUR IDENTITY as fast as they can, and you'll JUST HAVE TO WAIT YOUR TURN ...
like the rest of the victims !!!

There was a news story about 911 that said terrorist groups were considering buying convenience stores and gas stations to harvest the large number of credit cards used at just these two places ...
without a thought of how safe their card really is today.

Joe


COBB COUNTY
Identity theft alert issued
Police say ring targets eateries


By YOLANDA RODRÍGUEZ
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 09/03/06

Cobb police have a warning for consumers: Be careful when using credit cards at restaurants.

They arrested three people last week who they believe are part of a larger identity theft ring. The alleged thieves used an electronic skimmer to read information on the magnetic strips on the backs of the cards. The operation was partially undone by a slow-moving cashier at a Taco Bell on South Cobb Drive, near Smyrna.

The cashier, Takeila Cherie Anderson, 18, was moving so slowly while working the drive-through that the manager went to investigate. Store video that police made available shows Anderson taking cards from customers and sliding them along a slit on top of the machine.

The manager called police after seeing the machine — so small that it fits in the palm of a hand.

It was the first time police in Cobb have seen the device, said Cpl. Ron Underwood, a detective in Cobb's criminal investigation unit.

Investigators arrested Anderson of Austell. She helped police lure the men who allegedly put her up to the scheme. Police also arrested Arthur Crumpley Jr. and Cecil Lamont Hicks, both of Douglasville.

They charged all three with criminal possession of a financial forgery device, a felony. They could face additional charges for each stolen account number found on the machine.

Underwood said Crumpley recruited Anderson. He promised her $1,000 for every 50 cards the machine skimmed.

Police believe Crumpley recruited restaurant employees throughout Cobb.

Police think Hicks was the ringleader. Underwood said Hicks told investigators he had a connection in California. Hicks would turn the stolen numbers over to his connection on the 14th Street bridge in Atlanta, Underwood said.

Consumers should pay close attention to monthly credit and debit card statements and get copies of their credit reports.

Underwood said the restaurant manager saved his customers a lot of aggravation.

"If you are a victim of identity theft just one time, you'll understand how serious this is," Underwood said.

Find this article at:
http://www.ajc. com/metro/ content/metro/ cobb/stories/ 2006/09/02/ 0903cobskim. html

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