The recent arrest of two Mecklenburg County residents was the first step in wrapping up what has proved to be a widespread credit card heist involving multimedia retailer QVC Waxhaw police say.
Waxhaw Police Detective Bobbie Haulk said officers arrested Loretta Jones and Leroy Butts Jan. 5 and charged them with credit card fraud, identity theft and obtaining property under false pretenses. More arrests may be coming.
“It’s a huge mess,” Haulk said, referring to the tangled web of fraud. He said Jones and Butts obtained credit card numbers from innocent victims, changed the pin numbers and used the credit cards to order items from QVC. They shipped the items to friends “all around Charlotte,” Haulk said.
In addition to two victims in Waxhaw, who reported the heist earlier this year, other residents throughout the Union County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg area also had credit card information stolen. According to Haulk, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has heard from about 20 victims, Union County has an additional eight to 10 and a few have surfaced in Stallings.
“We are working with these police departments and are waiting on information from QVC and UPS,” Haulk says. “More arrests may be forthcoming from other departments.” They are even working with the U.S. Secret Service.
The three charges pending against Jones and Butts do not carry very large sentences, Haulk said, and neither defendant has a lengthy criminal records. Federal charges, on the other hand, carry more weight.