CLEVELAND — The FOX 8 I-TEAM has obtained exclusive video showing a bust taking down what police believe is a ring of con artists with fake credit cards ripping off innocent people.
Cleveland police body camera video released to the I-TEAM shows three people arrested, dozens of credit cards found, hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and devices to put your credit card numbers on fake cards.
The investigation began outside a gas station in the 4400 block of Pearl Road.
The video shows patrol officers rolling up and ordering people to put their hands behind their back.
A woman getting arrested asks, “What’s going on?”
An officer answers, “What’s going on? You shouldn’t scam people. Let’s go.”
Meantime, the video shows officers searching the vehicles finding credit cards, phones and lots of cash. At one point, as police collect the credit cards, one officer says, “More of ‘em?”
Records show the bust happened after an undercover detective got suspicious about what was going on at the gas pumps. He saw people swiping credit cards in exchange for cash.
Police have often seen con artists filling up the gas tanks of strangers with stolen credit cards in exchange for, say, $20.
While police found a few dozen credit cards, they also say they found two skimming devices. Those devices, police say, can be used to create fake credit cards using stolen credit card numbers.
Inside a store where the bust took place, a man behind the counter told us, “It’s a huge loss for us and the customers.”
He added, “Some of it we have to cover. Charge-backs on us. And we have to end up paying.”
Now, three people have been indicted in Cuyahoga County Court — Dennis Walker III, Tianna Fisher and Nicole Anderson. The charges include counterfeiting, misuse of a credit card and telecommunications fraud.
They’ll get a chance to start fighting the charges in county court next week and they’ll likely have to explain more than they did at the scene.
One woman said, “Scam people? What?”
And a man getting arrested said, “I just pulled up. I was getting gas.”
Cleveland Police Second District officers made the arrests. However, the I-TEAM has learned the investigation may not end with this. Detectives are following up leads on other possible suspects for the same kinds of crime.