Three arrested in Willoughby prepaid credit card scam; Fourth suspect sought

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio– The Willoughby Police Department arrested three men in connection with credit card fraud. A fourth suspect is on the loose.

It all started at the Papa John’s on Euclid Avenue in Willoughby at about 11:15 a.m. Friday. Employees reported a man asked to buy all the gift cards in the store. When they refused, the man, later identified as 21-year-old Anthony Woods, went to the nearby Pizza Hut.

Police said they found Woods hiding in the area of East 345th Street.

Officers started checking other restaurants near SOM Center Road and Euclid Avenue. They found multiple people tried to purchase gift cards with fraudulent prepaid credit cards at Pizza Hut, IHOP, Burger King, Steak ‘n Shake, Honey Baked Ham and Dairy Queen. The suspects successfully got $3,800 in gift cards, the police department said.

Police later arrested Brandon Brewer and Manuel Manuel, both 21 from the Detroit, Michigan area.

Erick Miller (Photo courtesy: Willoughby police)

Woods, Brewer and Manuel have prior criminal records for forgery, counterfeiting, robbery, fraud and drug possession. They were each charged with forgery, possession of criminal tools and money laundering in this case. Manuel was also charged with tampering with evidence.

A fourth suspect, 22-year-old Erick Miller, of Harper Woods, Michigan, is wanted by police. Willoughby police said he was one of the men who found gift cards at Burger King and Pizza Hut.