A 42-year-old Manteca resident and his 24-year-old accomplice in Tracy were arrested last week after they tried to use a stolen credit card to purchase nearly $1,000 worth of merchandise from the Manteca JC Penney location.
Daniel Furtado, 42, and Annaica Hartz, 24, were arrested by Manteca Police after they tried to walk away from the store once the stolen credit card was declined.
According to the Manteca Police Department, the authorities were contacted after the duo made multiple attempts to purchase the merchandise but were unsuccessful due to the card continuing to be declined. They reportedly left the merchandise behind and were contacted by Manteca Police Officers and Manteca K9 officer Travis Johnson – who was assigned to the Organized Retail Crime task force for the day.
Johnson, who was recently assigned to the county’s auto theft task force and has experience with identity theft cases, was able to find the stolen credit card that was used in the attempted purchase as well as a magnetic card reader that was stashed in his vehicle.
Card readers are often used by thieves to obtain the account information that is stored on the card – which can then be loaded onto a separate card that would be easier for them to use in a retail store.
“Identity theft is common and continues to be used by criminals for profit, to purchase merchandise and even to buy new vehicles, leaving the debt to victims,” the Manteca Police said in a statement announcing the arrest. “These crimes are aggressively prosecuted by the District Attorneys assigned to the ID Theft Unit and the Manteca Police Department.
“The quick response by MPD Officers resulted in the arrest of these suspects.”
Furtado was arrested and charged with identity theft, possession of a scanning device, grand theft, and additional enhancements for having pervious serious felonies. He is currently still in custody at the San Joaquin County Jail on $55,000 bail.
Hartz was taken into custody on similar charges as well as outstanding drug warrants that were active at the time of her arrest.
As communities across the country grapple with organized retail theft and the impacts it leaves behind for innocent customers that have to make up the difference through higher prices, the Manteca Police has taken a proactive approach by assigning a full-time detective to investigate those cases and other officers who periodically assist with the calls and investigations related to the crime.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.