CHALMETTE, La. – A fast-food restaurant employee and her friend were arrested and booked by the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office for allegedly running a skimming scheme in which customers’ credit cards numbers were stolen, allowing the pair to withdraw cash from the unsuspecting customers’ bank accounts.
According to the sheriff’s office, Ashley Spears, 20, who was living with a relative on Juno Drive in Chalmette, and Frank Tate, 29, also living on Juno Drive, were arrested and booked into the St. Bernard Parish Prison.
Thousands of dollars were taken from bank accounts from numerous victims using the information that was placed on skimmers -- small hand-held devices, said the sheriff’s office.
One skimmer was found in Spear’s purse after she was arrested and a second one was found at Tate’s home by St. Bernard sheriff’s detectives.
Detectives were able to make the arrests after getting information from the banks of customers who were defrauded, and the unidentified restaurant also cooperated after being informed that their employee, Spears, was a suspect, according to the sheriff’s office.
Spears was booked with 29 counts of violating a state anti-skimming law, and Tate was booked with possession of a scanning device used for skimming debit or credit information from others and he still faces other possible charges as the investigation continues, Sheriff Jimmie Pohlmann said.
Additional suspects in the case are also under investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.