After a trip to Red Robin on Catclaw Drive, Barbara Worley and her husband Donnie became the victims of identity theft.
Police say their waiter at the restaurant; Eric James Radford had been stealing credit and debt card information from the customers he severed.
“[Radford] gave us excellent service,” Barbara said. “He was very pleasant. I gave him a five dollar tip.”
Barbara and Donnie received a phone call from their banks fraud department the Sunday after eating at the restaurant.
Radford along with his roommate Keith Allen Jackson Jr. allegedly ran up hundreds of dollars of charges at a local gentlemen’s club called Jaguars. Jackson is also accused of stealing customer information while employed at the Sonic of Sayles Boulevard.
“We were a little frustrated because we figured somebody’s done this and we’ve lost some money and we’ll never see it again,” Barbara said. “We didn’t know about the insurance our bank has so we did end up getting our money back.”
Abilene Police Department Fraud Strike Force member Det. Gabe Thompson was made aware of Radford and Jackson;s alleged fraudulent activity by another couple. He obtained a search warrant and arrested the two men Friday.
Thompson said the two men were allegedly using a credit card encoder to steal bank account information and transfer it to other cards with black magnetic strips. Thompson said this is just one of the many ways people can steal someone’s account information.
“Card information can be taken either through taking a picture of the front and back of the card and it can be taken electronically like in this case,” Thompson said.
Barbara said after seeing Radford and Jackson’s mugshots online she found her Red Robin receipt, and sure enough Radford’s first name was one top. He had even circled it.
“APD catching them is just fantastic, two thumbs up,” Barbara said. “Everybody told me that in all probability they will never catch these guys, and when I found out APD did, I was just ecstatic.”
Thompson said the only way to avoid this type of situation is to avoid handing your card over to anyone.
“I would recommend if you’re going to pay a waiter use cash,” Thompson said. “That’s really the only way to make sure no one is skimming your card information.”
Barbara and her husband don’t blame the restaurant and say they will continue to eat there.