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Tipsters I.D. credit card fraud suspect thanks to Times-News article

December 23rd, 2013 1:22 pm by Jeff Bobo

Tipsters I.D. credit card fraud suspect thanks to Times-News article

Misty Dawn Martinez

MOUNT CARMEL — A woman accused of running up an $880 bill on an 80-year-old Mount Carmel man’s debit card was arrested Saturday thanks to tipsters who recognized her picture in Thursday's edition of the Times-News. 

Misty Dawn Martinez, 38, 539 E. Morgan Avenue, B-4, Church Hill, was arrested by Mount Carmel Police department Lt. Kevin Ewing Saturday afternoon on charges including fraudulent use of a credit card, theft under $500 and identity theft.

She was arraigned Monday in Hawkins County General Sessions Court and a Feb. 4 preliminary hearing date was set.

Charges are also pending aganst Martinez in Church Hill and Kingsport.

The 80-year-old victim, whose name was withheld to protect his privacy, told Mount Carmel police he lost his Visa debit card around Nov. 22-23, which was also the last time he used it.

There were four charges on the card after it was lost including $210 at Walmart in Kingsport and $184 at Family Dollar in Church Hill on Nov. 24; and $278 at J&J Discount Grocery in Mount Carmel and $208 at the Dollar Tree in Church Hill on Nov. 25 — for a total of $880.

The store surveillance photo published in Thursday’s edition of the Times-News was from Martinez’s alleged Walmart visit.

“We got some calls from the article in the newspaper last week,” Ewing told the Times-News Monday. “Some people recognized her and told us who she was and where she was. I could only charge her with the J&J Discount purchases here in Mount Carmel, and there’s pending charges from other jurisdictions — Kingsport and Church Hill — because she also used the card there.”

Ewing said he didn’t recover the card. 

“She told us that she had returned it to the owner, and that a gentleman had let her use it to get back on her feet,” Ewing said. “But, she couldn’t provide his name, phone number, or where he lives. She said it was just a guy she had met.”

Ewing said he showed a photo of Martinez to the victim, and the victim said he’d never seen her before.

As of Monday Martinez remained held in the Hawkins County Jail on $750 bond.

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