Suspect sought in $20k shopping spree in Clear Lake, Pasadena areas
Crime Stoppers and several police departments are looking for a man who's made at least $20,000 in fraudulent purchases at grocery stores.
The case started in Friendswood. "What it appears to be is he stole some people's identities, cloned counterfeit credit cards, and has gone out, as far as we know, and hit a lot of grocery stores, Krogers, that kind of stuff," says Friendswood Police Detective Eric Price. As Price began investigating, he soon learned this man was doing the same thing in League City, Pasadena, La Porte, and Houston.
"Typically, more than anything, he's buying gift cards," Price says. "In one case that we know of, he bought a bunch of beer."
Price says departments across the area are "working this case jointly to determine who this guy is.... we're not really sure how far he's gone back, but we've got close to four months of activity."
Surveillance-camera images from the stores the suspect has hit offer one potential clue. In most of them, Price says, he appears to be wearing some kind of chef uniform. "We've got probably close to 100 photos, and the shirt is somewhat similar in most of the cases, but it's maybe a different color."
Price says the clothes could just as easily be a ploy to mislead investigators, though.
The suspect is described as a white male, 30 to 40 years of age, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7, 170 pounds, with a medium build.
Anyone with information on this man can reach Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477 or crime-stoppers.org. Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest, charging, or identification of a suspect.
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