Kingsport man wanted in rash of credit card thefts arrested in Florida

Rain Smith • Jan 14, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Kingsport police say a suspect in the theft of at least six credit cards -- who allegedly racked up more than 40 counts of fraud with big-ticket purchases such as LCD TVs -- has been arrested in Florida.

According to KPD Det. Chris Tincher, Shannon Smith, last known address as 1013 King St., was arrested Dec. 28 in Cocoa Beach.

Tincher says the police department's anonymous tip line received information on his whereabouts following local media coverage of his alleged crimes.

Police are not sure if Smith had family or friends in Florida. He was arrested by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office and scheduled for extradition to the Sullivan County Jail. As of Thursday he had yet to arrive.

It's believed Smith obtained the credit cards by stealing purses from employee areas of local businesses during operating hours — Sally’s Beauty Supply, Tuesday Morning and Indian Path Medical Center. The thefts occurred in November, with Smith allegedly making purchases at several Kingsport stores over the following month.

He was identified after being captured by surveillance equipment at many of those businesses, and according to Det. Tincher, had prior run-ins with the law.

KPD obtained warrants on Smith for forgery, identity theft and fraudulent use of ATM and debit cards. Tincher said each of those warrants contains "multiple" charges, and more charges against him are pending a presentment to the grand jury.

In addition to the theft of credit cards from employee areas of businesses, police believe Smith may have been involved in several Kingsport car burglaries. Tincher said the purses were left in plain view from the outside of the automobiles, and credit cards found within were then fraudulently used.

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