Woman’s debit card alert – while she was making police report – leads to arrest in Daphne
DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA) - Police investigating a string of break-ins over the weekend may have caught a big break.
Officers said they caught three men red-handed just after they used a stolen debit card at a sporting goods store.
Daphne Police Capt. Brian Gulsby said a woman was at a school event in Trione Sports Complex when she noticed her debit card had been taken. She said her debit card company notified her the card had been used. When she went to the Police Department on Tuesday to report it, she got an alert of a suspicious transaction taking place at that very moment at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
“So the officer relayed that information to officers in that area,” Gulsby told FOX10 News. “And they responded to these three suspects around the corner actually changing clothes.”
Gulsby said two of the men are Chilean nationals and the other is originally from Argentina. Police arrested Luis Eduardo Chavarria Montoya, 33, of Orlando; Diego Roman Cortez Rojas, 37, of Kissimmee, Florida; and Mauricio Alfredo Gonzalez Reyes, 31, of Hollywood, Florida. They are each charged with four counts fraudulent use of a credit card, two counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle and possession of burglar’s tools. They also face misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Gulsby said police found thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise purchased with the stolen card in the car, a rented white Mercedes. He said police didn’t find anything that ties them to four car break-ins over the weekend but added police are investigating.
Those break-ins occurred in the parking lot of a gym, as well as the Daphne Civic Center, Lott Park and Bayfront Park. The thieves stole purses, electronics and other items, he said. It is a crime, Gulsby said, that is hard to solve.
“We have learned over the years that it’s kind of an organized crime kind of thing,” he said. “They operate in groups, crews, for lack of a better term, and travel along the I-10 corridor. And they target parks and salons and gyms – places where they know ladies are likely to leave their purses behind.”
FOX10 News reporter Hal Scheurich contributed to this article.
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