Smicksburg Man Accused of Stealing Credit Card, Purchasing Items at Local Convenience Stores

handcuffsSUMMERVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – A Smicksburg man is facing multiple felony charges after he allegedly made unauthorized purchases on a business credit card in Jefferson and Clarion counties.

According to online court documents, Punxsutawney-based State Police filed criminal charges against 23-year-old Austin Jeffery Shields, of Smicksburg.

According to a criminal complaint filed on January 30 by State Trooper McAnulty, of PSP Punxsutawney, Austin Shields allegedly memorized numbers of a company credit card in the possession of a known Summerville man.

The complaint indicates that the Summerville man stated “Shields did some odd jobs around the house, such as cutting grass and was allowed inside the house.”

On October 31, 2016, Trooper McAnulty spoke with the victim who said he had lost his wallet a few months earlier that contained the credit card. He said he thought the card account was frozen; however, Trooper McAnulty told him that Shields had recently used the card, according to the complaint.

On October 31 and November 1, Trooper McAnulty spoke with numerous employees of convenience stores in Jefferson and Clarion counties, who all said Shields had given the card number, but that he did not have the card in his possession because “his father had it,” the complaint states.

On November 3, 2016, Shields allegedly admitted to using a company credit card to buy a dirt bike from a Texas Power Sports dealership. He also allegedly admitted to making several purchases at convenience stores in Jefferson and Clarion counties. The purchases included items such as gas, snuff, cigarettes, soda, and food, the complaint states.

Shields said “he also used the card to buy Straight Talk phone minutes,” the complaint continues.

The total amount of confirmed unauthorized purchases by Shields was $2,020.67, according to the complaint.

Shields never received the dirt bike valued at $2,040.00 from the Texas Power Sports dealership because Brookville Borough Police Officer Markle contacted the company and stopped shipment. The cardholder was refunded for the attempted bike purchase, the complaint continues.

The total amount of confirmed access device fraud/theft by deception totals $4,060.67.

The total amount of restitution owed to the victim is $2,020.67.

Shields was arraigned at 10:30 a.m. on January 31 in front of District Judge Gregory M. Bazylak on the following charges:

– Theft By Deception-False Impression, Felony 3
– Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 3
– Access Device Issd to Another Who Did Not Authorize Use, Felony 3
– Identity Theft, Felony 3

He is free on $50,000.00 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on March 7.

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