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Police: Cashier memorized credit cards to purchase gift cards for mother
By: Maria Miller
RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A Johnstown mother-daughter duo is in jail, accused of stealing the credit card numbers of customers at a local department store to purchase gift cards for themselves. But police said Boscov's internal security team was able to pick up on the alleged crime fast, confronting the employee before the affected customers even knew they were targeted.
You hear about credit card numbers being stolen all the time, but in this case police said the victims did nothing wrong and really couldn't have prevented it.
Khadija Salazar and Kim Triplie are facing charges of theft, fraud and receiving stolen property after police said Salazar, a former employee at Boscov's in Richland Township, stole from several customers in a unique way.
During the Christmas holiday police said Salazar would memorize customers' credit card numbers after ringing them up for a purchase, then plug those numbers back into the system to purchase gift cards that she gave to her mother.
"This is something unique that somebody actually has the memory, and could actually recall and could remember the credit card numbers," said Richland Township Police Chief Michael Burgan. "What had alerted Boscov's was one, the amount of the charges that were coming through and number two, no card actually being swiped. It was all through key entry."
In all, police said Salazar was able to get $1,000 in gift cards purchased through the credit cards of customers. A criminal complaint said Triplie then used one of those gift cards to purchase more than $250 worth of merchandise.
"It had flagged internally with the amount of money that was being purchased, which a lot of major credit card companies have," said Burgan. "If it's beyond their normal spending habits, it will send up a red flag."
And because of that police said Boscov's was able to discover the alleged crime before the victims, something police said customers really couldn't have even prevented.
"They're working with their customers," said Burgan. "They've been very, very cooperative with this and I have to credit the store with being able to jump on this immediately to stop it from occuring."
Police said Salazar and Triplie have admitted to the crime and have already returned $500 worth of giftcardsgift cards and 22 items of merchandise. They're both in jail, their bond set at $35,000 a piece.