Two Chicago men have been arrested in connection with a scheme to buy tires from Tulsa car dealerships with stolen credit cards, police said.
Authorities told that Elijah Hawkins and Aston Sanson planned to haul dozens of stolen tires back to Chicago to sell online. However, a Tulsa dealership figured out the ruse and called police.
“What we did find out from U-Haul is they have rented, in the past six weeks, multiple trucks in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois and Oklahoma, probably a common practice. They drive into each town, do this fraud and go back to Chicago,” said Det. Kayla Wiggs with Tulsa Police Financial Crimes.
Wiggs said the men ordered $2,200 worth of tires from Lexus of Tulsa. However, the employee who took the order was suspicious, and he checked the credit card, discovering it was stolen. When the suspects came to pick up the tires, the employee called police.
Officers then found a second truck that had six tires in it worth $1,300 from another Tulsa dealership. After returning those tires, police arrested Hawkins and Sanson. Authorities said there is another suspect in this case who has not yet been arrested.
Wiggs said the suspects appeared to be surprised they were arrested.
“They were kind of shocked at our laws because they assumed they could just bond right out and not come up with much money. They were surprised we require 10 percent to get out, and they don’t get that money back,” Wiggs said.
She said the men purchased the stolen credit card on the “dark Web,” a place where criminals can buy anything they want.
The victim whose credit card was stolen lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and had no idea that his card had been used to buy tires in Oklahoma.
Wiggs said this is a crime that could happen to anybody.
“I believe everybody’s credit card number is on there. It’s just a matter if you’re the unlucky person selected,” Wiggs said.
Police said Hawkins and Sanson are ex-cons from Illinois. They both face possible felony charges in Oklahoma.
Lastly, officers have a piece of advice for businesses: check credit card numbers and IDs when customers arrive to pick up in person what they’ve ordered over the phone.
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