A Texarkana man was arrested after he allegedly used a card programmed with stolen account information at a local car wash.
Ulysses Morgan, 40, was arrested Monday by Texarkana, Texas, police and charged with debit card abuse. An additional charge of fraudulent use of identifying information was added Tuesday, said Shawn Vaughn, spokesman for TTPD.
Officers were dispatched to Westgate Car Wash, at 3501 Summerhill Road, over a forgery in progress call at 1:46 p.m. Monday, Vaughn said. The business owner told officers that a man, later identified as Morgan, dropped off a vehicle to be washed and paid for the service in advance with a debit card. Morgan then left in another vehicle, saying that he would return later to pick up his vehicle.
While the vehicle was being washed, the business received a telephone call from a Georgia man who said that he got a notification from his financial institution that his debit card had been used at the Texarkana business. Upon checking his account, he discovered that his debit card had been used in three separate transactions in Texarkana on Monday—a fast food restaurant, a convenience store and the car wash.
During a subsequent phone call, the Georgia man told officers he and his debit card were in Georgia and he did not know how anyone could have gotten his account information. Using the last four numbers of the victim's card and the dollar amount, officers determined the questionable transaction at the car wash involved Morgan, according to police.
Officers waited for Morgan to return to pick up his vehicle and then approached him. Upon being told of the nature of their investigation, Morgan denied using a debit card that belonged to anyone else, authorities said. When officers asked to see the card Morgan used at the car wash, Morgan said that he threw it away shortly after using it because there was no money left on the card. Officers arrested Morgan on the debit card abuse charge.
A woman with whom Morgan had initially left the car wash allowed officers to look for the debit card inside her vehicle, Vaughn said. They found Morgan's wallet inside the vehicle, and it contained 13 credit cards with Morgan's name on them. The cards were collected for further investigation.
Detective Brian Purcell, who investigates financial fraud cases, scanned the cards and discovered that the name and card numbers printed on the cards did not match encrypted information stored on them, Vaughn said. Purcell got a warrant for Morgan's arrest Tuesday morning for fraudulent use of identifying information involving five to 10 items and served the warrant while Morgan was still in custody.
Purcell is working to identify other victims whose information was placed on the cards found on Morgan, Vaughn said, but it appears that none of the victims lives in the Texarkana area.
Morgan's bond for debit card abuse was set at $15,000. Bond has not been set on the fraud charge.