Just three weeks after she was placed on probation in a shoplifting case, a 19-year-old Grand Rapids woman went on a multi-state buying binge using stolen credit card numbers from dozens of victims.
Sabrina M. Lopez and a teen accomplice amassed $33,800 in merchandise and gift cards between mid-March and late April, court records show. The spending spree came to an end when Kentwood police were able to connect Lopez to myriad losses at the Kohl’s department store at Woodland Mall and at other locations.
Lopez, who has prior convictions for thefts at JCPenney and Meijer, appeared in court on Thursday, Aug. 8, for the latest batch of charges. She pleaded guilty to conducting criminal enterprises – a 20-year felony.
The criminal statute is often used when defendants work together to pull off high-end property crimes, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said. It is not uncommon to see losses in the thousands of dollars, he said.“It’s not just an isolated incident; it’s a group that’s going through and doing whatever the activity is,’’ Becker said. “It’s doing it multiple times that really pulls in the criminal enterprise charge.’’
Kentwood police say Lopez and 18-year-old Makisa F. Daramy obtained Kohl’s charge card numbers from an unidentified third party. They used the stolen credit card numbers to make purchases at Kohl’s stores in Michigan, Arizona, Oklahoma, North Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, and Missouri.
“They did physically drive to seven different states where they used credit card numbers they obtained from a third party,’’ Kentwood Police Capt. Bryan Litwin said. “If it didn’t work, they’d try a different number or leave.’’ This went on for a little more than six weeks. The scheme started to unravel after an April 26 visit to the Kohl’s at Woodland Mall.
Kentwood police officer Erin Kitchka stopped and identified the pair; they had used credit card numbers to buy more than $700 in merchandise. They were arrested after it was determined the purchases were made using stolen credit card numbers. The two linked all of the fraudulent purchases to their own Kohl’s loyalty rewards cards… WZZM13 News