Palmer Twp. police arrest trio in credit card scam

Authorities in Northampton County arrested a trio of Brooklyn men after several failed attempts to use credit cards at a pharmacy led police to 13 blank credit cards, a laptop and a credit card swipe reader in their car. Palmer Township police arrested Shemar Ricardo Barnett, Patrick Kestor Glasgow Jr. and Anthony Vannatus Clarke outside a Walgreens at 2535 William Penn Highway shortly before 2 a.m. Monday. Each man faces charges in connection with using fake credit cards. Walgreens staff called police after two of the men took turns trying to make purchases with credit cards that were being denied. After a card was rejected, the user would step outside, saying he needed to make a phone call, according to court records.

When he returned, the card would feature a different account number. In some cases, staff would be prompted that the account was linked to a chip-enabled card, but the credit card being used did not include a chip, according to records. Staff provided police with a list of credit card numbers that were rejected. Investigators allege Barnett tried to make eight purchases over the course of an hour that were denied. In all, he tried 16 times to use a credit card that was rejected, according to records. Police said Clarke, 20, tried unsuccessfully four times to use a credit card. A search after their arrest revealed Clarke had $250 in McDonald’s gift cards purchased over the span of less than a half hour the day before in Phillipsburg. Police said they also found an American Express card, a blank Chase card and someone’s 2014 W2 form. A search of Barnett turned up $100 in McDonald’s gift cards and three blank credit cards. Police impounded the car, which is registered to Glasgow’s father in Philadelphia, and found a laptop, power outlets, a USB converter, an iPhone 6, a parking lot swipe card for Kennedy International Airport, 13 blank cards, credit cards with various names and accounts, a marijuana grinder and a credit card swipe reader, which is used to place account information on a magnetic strip, according to court records. During an interview with police, Clarke allegedly told investigators that the credit card reader and blank cards belonged to the 18-year-old Barnett. Barnett faces more than two dozen charges that include possessing an instrument of a crime, receiving stolen property, access device fraud and conspiracy. He was sent to Northampton County Prison after failing to post $25,000 bail. Glasgow faces four counts of conspiracy and a single count of possession of an instrument of a crime. He’s being held after failing to post $25,000 bail. Clarke faces seven charges, including identity theft, conspiracy, receiving stolen property and unlawful use of a computer. He’s being held after failing to post $35,000 bail. Each man is scheduled for a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for July 20.


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