Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

The credit card thief apprehended…

Posted by Chris on March 8, 2009

This is a continuation of this story/post.

It was a woman that I knew.  At least, I had met her several times and spoken with her briefly.  Originally, she was the wife of a friend of a friend.  So there were several degrees of separation and besides helping she and her husband out a few times (putting them up in a motel for a friend who reimbursed me, buying them some food), I barely interacted with her and had not spoken with her for several months.

I ID’d the photo and the detective said he already had leads and ended up arresting her that day.  A few days later I called and she was no longer in jail.

A few disconcerting things I’ve learned since then: she is very familiar with other social service providers/folks in the community.  And her reputation is not a good one and several people I spoke to knew she was in jail and were not surprised to hear what had happened.  It is likely that they played my friend and played him big time.  What do you do with that?  How do you keep that from creating bitterness, either towards them or towards others who lead transient lifestyles?  I wanted to protect my friend from that knowledge, but unfortunately he was dragged into it because she dropped his name to the police and he received a call.  So now he knows, or can at least presume, at the deception.

There were a few other ways that she and her husband betrayed the trust given them and exhibited poor stewardship in the investment others made in them with time and money (and probably love/emotions, though that’s harder to measure and is just as much about the person giving as the person receiving).   I won’t go into any details.

I saw her husband recently while he and I were in the same room– me doing tax prep volunteering, he one of the clients  that day.  It was awkward.  I don’t know if that was my perception/expectation and he was just having a bad day, or if there was real tension.  If he wasn’t a part of it, I will assume he at least knew by this point what had happened and would expect he knew that she was using my credit card, though he could have believed it was with my permission.  (her story to the police was that it was my card #, given to her by one of my friends who had asked if I was willing to help them out).

So what do I do with that relationship, if that’s what you can call it?  I have no negative feelings towards her husband, but am I adding a burden or possibly entering into a conflict by trying to reach out to him in some way?  Or in just talking to him if I see him at the library?  I don’t know.

I have not heard from the police again, though I did receive a copy of the charges and a victim packet from the State’s Attorney’s office.  I returned that and haven’t heard from them either.  I will plan on this being the end unless something crazy happens.

Anyway, I hope this has provided some clarity about what to do if your credit card info is stolen/used, how the justice system works, and provokes thinking about what to do when we’re a victim.

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