A Mall of America employee is credited with helping police nab two men accused of using other people's credit cards to buy thousands of dollars worth of merchandise and gift cards.
Kesheng He, of Orlando, Florida, and Junshi Zhang, of Brooklyn, New York, both face one count of felony identity theft after investigators say the two men stole more than $65,000 worth of merchandise from stores in the Twin Cities area. (Click their names to read the criminal complaint filed).
According to the charges:
He and a woman went into an MOA jewelry store to buy a Rolex watch. When the woman handed over the credit card and identification, the clerk noticed the ID card didn't have a hologram on it. The clerk told them she'd have to call their credit card company to make sure it actually belonged to them.
Then the woman and He asked for the cards back and left the store. The clerks spoke to officers and showed them pictures from their surveillance video.
When an officer in the mall found the vehicle He was in, Zhang was driving. The officer removed He from the seat and found at least nine cut-up credit cards. Seven more were found in a wallet. None of them matched either of the two men.
Officers also found eight gift cards on Zhang. Zhang reportedly told officers he was just driving He and the woman around to pay back some debt. Zhang said he would get beaten up if he didn't.
Police say 11 of the cards they found are associated with other people. The female authorities say tried to buy the Rolex has not been found yet.
Seven percent of people age 16 and older in the U.S. were victims of identity theft in 2014, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics,
The Federal Trade Commission says checking your bills and back statements often, keeping a close eye on your card anytime you hand it over to make a payment, and being careful who you share account information with can help prevent you against credit card fraud.