Sisters accused in credit-card scam

First Posted: 3/23/2009

Two sisters from West Virginia allegedly stole credit and debit cards from vehicles in Mount Airy during the weekend, then used them to buy cigarettes at local businesses, police said.
The pair apparently planned to take the financial-transaction cards and make purchases before they could be reported stolen, according to Maj. Jeff Wolfe of the Mount Airy Police Department.
However, detective work on the part of city officers resulted in Angela Marie Allen, 26, and Jennifer Lynn Cecil, 29, both of 510 Kee St. in Princeton, W.Va., being taken into custody late Saturday after they had presented cards at five separate locations.
Each was being held in the Surry County Jail Monday night in lieu of a $25,000 secured bond.
Allen and Cecil are charged with 11 felonies each. They include four counts of obtaining property by false pretense, one count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense and two counts each of breaking or entering a motor vehicle, larceny after breaking or entering and possession of stolen property.
Both women also are facing misdemeanor charges of damage to property, larceny and possession of stolen goods and Cecil further is accused of another misdemeanor, possession of drug paraphernalia.
The case unfolded with the break-ins of two vehicles Saturday afternoon.
One occurred at the Creekside Cinema on Bluemont Road, where a 2005 BMW owned by Dana Collins of Niston Lane was entered after a window of the vehicle was broken. Items including an Apple laptop computer, digital camera and about $30 in cash were taken in addition to a credit card.
The second break-in involved a 1998 Ford Escort owned by Shena Lea Spurlin of McBride Road, an employee of Lonestar Steakhouse on Woodland Drive. A window of that vehicle also was broken while at the steakhouse, causing $200 in damage, with property including two State Employees Credit Union debit cards reported stolen.
Allen and Cecil then used the stolen cards to buy cartons of Marlboro cigarettes valued altogether at about $200 from the Super C convenience store on East Pine Street, Rite Aid on East Lebanon Street and the Wilco-Hess store on West Pine Street.
They also showed up at Mount Airy Oil Co. store locations on West Pine Street and West Lebanon Street.
In the meantime, city police had obtained a description of the suspects vehicle, a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am, and located the car on Farmbrook Road, where it was being driven by Cecil, who was arrested after a traffic stop.
Some of the charges were issued Saturday against the pair and others on Sunday as the investigation progressed.
The cigarettes and most of the other stolen property has been recovered.
Allen and Cecil are scheduled to appear in Surry District Court on May 13.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

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