Corsicana Police Make Arrests in Information Fraud Scheme

From Staff Reports

PRESS RELEASE: From Chief of Police, Robert J. Johnson

On Monday, Aug. 3, the Corsicana Police Department was notified of a suspicious vehicle that matched the photo of a suspect vehicle, in which the occupants had used fraudulent credit cards to purchase large amounts of gasoline from the “Tiger Tote” convenience store in the 3500 Blk of W. Seventh Avenue.

The initial offense occurred approximately two weeks earlier, and “Tiger Tote” management was able to provide CPD Detectives with photos of the unidentified suspects and their vehicles which were displaying temporary paper license plates. The “Tiger Tote” employees check their pumps daily to ensure there are no internal or external skimming devices.

Following this event, store management immediately notified the Corsicana Police Department of the initial offense and then added an extra step of protection and assigned an employee to monitor the gas pumps for suspicious activity.

Responding CPD Patrol and CID (Criminal Investigative Division) officers quickly located two suspect vehicles at different locations. Further investigation at the scene provided officers with enough probable cause to effect an arrest of three suspects for Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information which is a “Felony of the 1st Degree” because of having over 50 items with identifying information with the intent to defraud.

A search incident to the arrest led to the recovery of nearly 300 gift cards with suspected stolen credit card information electronically encoded. An inventory of the suspects vehicles revealed that each was equipped with extremely large after-market gas tanks capable of holding over a hundred gallons. These tanks were installed inside of passenger area of the vehicles and could not be seen from the outside. The vehicles in question were a 2002 Ford Excursion and a 2006 Dodge Sprinter passenger van.

The Corsicana Police Department’s CID Unit is working with investigators from the Texas Department of Public Safety as it is believed that the suspects are working with a larger statewide or nationwide criminal network. We are confident that additional charges will be forthcoming from this agency as the investigation progresses.

We would like to thank the “Tiger Tote” for taking a proactive stance in protecting their customers. No credit card skimmers were found at the “Tiger Tote” station and they inspect their pumps daily for any type of internal or external tampering. We also would like to encourage all of our local convenience stores and gas stations to take the same approach of daily inspections as well as ensuring their surveillance system works properly and can provide clear footage that can help law enforcement in identifying suspects.

The three suspects were arrested and transported to the Navarro County Jail where they are awaiting arraignment on multiple felony charges of Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information. None of the suspects are from the local area. Below are photos of the aftermarket tanks which were installed in the suspects vehicles.

Robert J. Johnson, Chief of Police

Photos Courtesy of Corsicana Police Department

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