“The magnetic strip allowed them to turn anyone’s credit or debit card to another number,” said Brimfield Police Chief David Blough. “This is a very interesting case. It’s complex, and there are so many victims.”
Blough said officers did not know what they were getting themselves into when they responded to the Circle K on Tallmadge Road on Tuesday afternoon for a report of a “suspicious” credit card transaction.
They met with suspects 28-year-old Lorinzo Sampson and 26-year-old Richard Barringer III, both of Cleveland; and 27-year-old Alfred Woodall, of Canton, who were purchasing debit cards.
A clerk at the store called because the numbers on the front of the credit cards did not match the numbers being debited.
Sampson, Barringer and Woodall were taken to the Portage County jail. Each face four charges of identity fraud, a fourth-degree felony; four counts of criminal simulation, two counts of possession of tools and one count of telecommunications fraud — all fifth-degree felonies.
All of the about 70 stolen accounts were from out of state, Blough said.
He said the department is tracking down other fraudulent purchases possibly made by the men in other area businesses.