West Melbourne Police Arrest Suspected Credit Card Thief
By Space Coast Daily // March 12, 2013
May Have Run Up $100,000 On Acounts
BREVARD COUNTY • WEST MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – A suspect was arrested Tuesday morning after using stolen credit cards to try to buy gasoline at Sam’s Club in West Melbourne.
West Melbourne Police Department Public Information Officer Lt. Richard Cordeau said police were called to Sam’s Club at 4255 West New haven Avenue in West Melbourne just after 8 a.m. Tuesday to a report of a fraud in progress.
Cordeau said patrol officers and detectives responded to the area and learned that fraud investigators from Sam’s Club and Discover Credit Cards were observing a subject use multiple credit cards at the Sam’s Club gas pump.
As the suspect departed the premises, they relayed the suspect’s description to officers and a traffic stop was conducted.
Ernis Perez Valdez of Palm Bay, 42, was taken into custody.
At this time, West Melbourne Police detectives have been able to identify two victims and anticipate numerous other victims.
Based upon the information from Sam’s Club loss prevention, it is believed that Perez could be responsible for fraudulent transactions exceeding $100,000 within a four-month period.
“This is very much an active investigation,” Cordeau said. “Our detectives are in the process of contacting card holders, banks, and credit card companies. So far, the card holders we have identified have been unaware their credit cards or debit cards were compromised.”
Valdez has been charged with three counts of an unauthorized use of a credit card and two counts of a violation of driver’s license restriction.