Police arrested a New York couple for allegedly making fraudulent purchases in the Lehigh Valley using stolen Massachusetts identities.
The Colonial Regional Police Department was dispatched to the Sam’s Club off Route 248 in Lower Nazareth Township about 4 p.m. Friday to investigate a fraud report.
A store employee alleged that Elijah Philips, 20, and Olivia A. Henriques, 18, were trying to buy Apple products using fraudulent club memberships opened with stolen credit card information allegedly purchased from the dark web, according to court records.
Henriques purchased an Apple watch and a set of Apple airpods worth $655 with a new membership opened using the identity of a woman from Melrose, Mass., according to records. Philips, meanwhile, allegedly purchased an iPad for $649 with a membership opened using the identity of a Mansfield, Mass., man.
Police said the new memberships were opened only hours before Philips and Henriques used them.
The store employee would not release the merchandise to Philips and Henriques after they failed to provide identification matching the Sam’s Club memberships. They left without their purchases and were stopped by police outside the store.
Authorities charged the pair with single felony counts of access device fraud and conspiracy. They also face two misdemeanor counts of conspiracy and single misdemeanor counts of theft and identity theft.
District Judge Jacqueline Taschner arraigned the pair late Friday night, setting bail for Philips at $15,000 and $10,000 for Henriques. She approved a 10 percent cash option for both.
Henriques was released from custody on Saturday after someone posted $1,000 cash bail on her behalf, and Philips was released Sunday after someone posted $1,500 cash bail on his behalf. As a condition of bail, Henriques and Philips are to stay out of Sam’s Club and stay away from each other, according to court records.
Their arrests were the fifth last week at the same Sam’s Club involving identity theft. Colonial Regional police arrested a Brooklyn man after his alleged accomplices left him behind, and police arrested a pair of men while investigating the earlier theft report.