Trio caught with help of citizens after attempted fraud, chase - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Trio using fraudulent gift cards in NC counties, deputies say

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Albert Leonard Alexander, Jr., 43 Albert Leonard Alexander, Jr., 43
Justin Louis Wright, 28 Justin Louis Wright, 28
Patricia Louise Thompson, 38 Patricia Louise Thompson, 38
LINCOLN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Three people who were arrested with the help of citizens after an attempted fraud turned into a foot chase also had items purchased with fraudulent gift cards in their possession,  according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

On Saturday, deputies responded to Murphy's Express on Highway 73 in reference a possible gift card fraud in progress. When officers pulled into the parking lot, the Lincoln County Communications Center advised them that the suspect vehicle, white in color, was trying to leave the scene, the report states.

Deputies stopped the vehicle in a nearby parking lot, and the driver got out and approached the patrol car. Officers ordered the man back into his vehicle, but he refused to comply. An officer then tried to detain the man but he continued to pull away. 

The man attempted to flee on foot toward Highway 73, and the deputy chased and fired his taser at the man. The taser had little to no affect because the suspect was wearing a heavy coat, deputies said.

The deputy caught the man and, with the help of three citizens, was able to get him handcuffed and in custody. 

Another officer who responded got into a foot chase with a second man. The man ran into Advance Auto on Highway 73 and tried to lock himself in the restroom. Store officials provided a key to the restroom and the man was taken into custody. 

Both men were taken back to Murphy's Express where they had used a fraudulent or altered gift card to purchase three cartons of cigarettes.

On Monday deputies received permission to search the vehicle from Penny Car Rental of Charlotte, NC and located bags of cigarettes and other items that apparently had been purchased at businesses in Lincoln and surrounding counties.

Detective Matt Burgess said, "Receipts with the items indicate they were purchased between 5:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday at stores from Huntersville, Mooresville, Catawba County and Lincoln County." 

The trio had used several different cards, all with the same victim's account information, officials told WBTV.

Albert Leonard Alexander, Jr., 43, of Charlotte, was charged with one felony count of obtaining property by false pretenses one misdemeanor count each of driving while license were revoked and resist, delay and obstruct an officer.

Justin Louis Wright, 28, of Onondaga, New York, was charged with one felony count each of obtaining property by false pretenses and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses. He was also charged with misdemeanor resist, delay and obstruct an officer.

Patricia Louise Thompson, 38, of Charlotte, was charged with felony conspiracy and misdemeanor aiding and abetting. 

All three were taken to the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $25,000 secured bond.

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