Best Buy employee thwarts American Express card scheme
A West Hempstead, NY man and a Laurelton, NY woman were arrested for forgery in the third degree, illegal use of a credit card, unlawful completion or reproduction of credit card and criminal attempt to commit larceny in the fifth degree at the Best Buy in the Hawley Lane Mall around 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 25.
Police said Kareem Harris, 27, and Ty-Lyia Sims, 20, each tried to buy an iPhone inside the store using fake American Express credit cards.
According to a report, a loss prevention employee at the store witnessed Sims enter the store and walk around aimlessly. He approached her and she said she was trying to locate the bathroom.
When she returned to the store, she tried to buy a smartphone using an American Express card that didn’t go through. The report said that the employee, who was trained in credit card fraud, noticed that the four-digit pin wasn’t located in the right section on the card.
Sims attempted to pay for the device with cash and asked where an ATM was located before leaving Best Buy, the report stated.
The store’s loss prevention employee notified Trumbull police of the incident and watched her as she got into a car out in the parking lot that didn’t drive away.
Police said around the same time of this exchange Harris entered the store and tried to attempt the same American Express card scheme to buy an iPhone.
When his card didn’t go through, he also said he wanted to pay cash, according to the report.
Trumbull police arrived on the scene and detained Sims in the car and Harris inside the store.
Harris was found to have six fake American Express credit cards in his possession — three on him and three more in his vehicle — and was charged with three counts of forgery and three counts of unlawful completion or reproduction of credit card.
The report said that Sims was also discovered to be in possession of three additional fake credit cards that were in her name.
Harris was processed and released on a $5,000 bond and Sims was processed and released on a $2,500 bond.
Both are scheduled to appear in court Thursday, June 2.