Pair arrested for credit card forgery

Published 8:19 pm Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Two men who aren’t from around here are sitting in the Butler County Correctional Facility on $340,000 bond each for allegedly using a forged credit card at a local department store.

Tony Tyus Jr., a resident of Illinois, and Alqamar R. Jackson, a resident of New Jersey, were arrested and charged with 34 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument II, possession of marijuana II and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Greenville Police Department Det. Kenneth Hadley said Sgt. Lionel Davis contacted him about Tyus and Jackson, who were trying to use the credit cards at Fred’s Department Store in Greenville late Friday night.

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“They had multiple credit cards on them,” Hadley said. “It appears that they were stolen or fraudulently used.”

Hadley said he talked to the suspects, and later found some “dope” in their vehicle to warrant the additional drug charges.

After some time to investigate, Hadley said he spoke to some federal agents, who helped him determine that the 34 credit cards were forged.

“Once I talked to the suspects, they admitted that they were forged,” Hadley said.

Hadley said each count is a Class C felony.

Additionally, Hadley said the suspects did buy some items — a carton of Newport cigarettes and some clothes — with some of the credit cards.

“After speaking with these gentlemen, they were told to come down here with the forged credit cards to purchase Newport cigarettes,” he said. “That’s why it’s a federal investigation (because the crime took place across state lines).”

Hadley said Fred’s owner Randy Beeson called the E-911 center to alert authorities about the alleged crime.

“Once they got there, they didn’t know what they had,” he said. “They caught these guys with the credit cards. They thought they had something maybe afoot and they called me.”

Hadley said the suspects confessed to “everything.”

“We got basically to the bottom of it with the help of another federal agency,” he said.

Now that the holidays are in full swing, Hadley said folks need to be cautious when using their credit cards for online purchases.

“What’s going on is that somebody is taking the credit card account numbers when you order something online,” he said. “When you deleted all of that, you think your credit card number goes away, but it’s there.

“Unfortunately, we have a bunch of people who pull a bunch of credit cards,” he said. “They pull it and sell it to the highest bidder and then the bidder buys it, and gives it to these two people (suspects) to buy. In reference to this, consumers need to be particular about using your major credit cards online to buy Christmas gifts. If you’re going to do it, buy a pre-paid card. Put exactly how much money you want to spend on it, and when it’s done, cut it in half and throw it away.”

In a separate, but related case, the GPD is asking for the public’s help because it is looking for a woman who allegedly took credit cards from a purse in a downtown store.

Nancy Faulkenberry, owner of Nacny’s Heirloom Shop, said the perpetrator took her wallet.

“I’m not really sure how they got my wallet,” she said. “The time frame doesn’t work out for the way they got it. I have no idea how they managed to get it.”

Greenville Police Department Det. Kenneth Hadley said the suspect went to Walgreens and Walmart in Greenville and used Faulkenberry’s credit cards to purchase items.

“She did go rampant with my credit cards,” Faulkenberry said.

Faulkenberry said the woman, who Walgreens store cameras picked up as black, wearing a white apron and driving a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee, had many transactions put on her credit cards — “thousands of dollars worth,” she said.

Faulkenberry said the woman spent $439.99 at a Gamestop, some $454 at Walmart and $192 at Walgreens.

“What kills me is with all of these charges, nobody checked her (identity),” Faulkenberry said. “When one card declines, she’d give another. Even that (as a store owner) would raise a flag with me.”

Faulkenberry said when the theft took place — last Wed., Dec. 10 — she was at church. She decided to come back to work at the store and upon coming home, found a voicemail from Macy’s asking to verify some charges that were made on her card.

Those with information on the person responsible for taking Faulkenberry’s purse need to call the GPD at 334-382-7461.

The suspect was last seen wearing a white apron and driving a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee.