Two in custody for fraud, identity theft
Credit cards stolen from home used at Walmart
A three-month investigation was wrapped up on Monday, March 26, with the arrest of a man suspected of credit card fraud.
After being out of town for some time, a couple returned to their home in the Prescott Country Club community in Dewey in late January to find items had been stolen from inside their garage, according to a Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office news release.
The theft included an air compressor and a purse containing cash and credit cards, the release said. The homeowners told deputies they routinely do not lock their garage or secure valuables when away.
Deputies then learned that the couple had been notified their credit cards were used on Jan. 12 at the Walmart in Prescott Valley. The couple were away at this time and the credit cards were used without their knowledge, according to the release.
Deputies contacted loss prevention officials at Walmart and were able to obtain video surveillance and receipts from the illegal transactions several weeks later, according to the release. The videos showed a man and woman purchasing a gaming system, printer and groceries during at least two transactions with the couple’s stolen cards.
Based on the video evidence, deputies said they were able to identify the man as 44-year-old Stephen Dippe from Prescott. Dippe had previously been arrested for theft and shoplifting at Walmart along with 29-year-old Kareen Frederick from Prescott.
A records check of the suspects revealed that Frederick was currently incarcerated in the Yavapai County jail, according to the release. Deputies said they interviewed her and she admitted to using the stolen credit cards as indicated after being given the cards by a “friend.” She claimed not to know where Dippe could be found and denied involvement in the burglary. In early March, Frederick was charged with four counts of fraud as a result of the investigation, according to the release. She remains in-custody.
On Monday, March 26, deputies located Dippe in Prescott and took him into custody. He was booked and charged with two counts of credit card fraud, attempted credit card fraud and fraudulent schemes.
He refused to discuss the case and is being held without bond, deputies said.