Warwick, RI – A woman from Westerly faces charges of theft and credit fraud after slipping a woman’s forgotten purse and phone in Five Below at the Cowesett Corners Mall, then spent $ 457 at Kentucky Fried Chicken and Lowes using a stolen credit card before the victim’s phone tracking app located the thief at his home on December 21.
Officer Kevin McGuire was patrolling the Christmas Tree Shop parking lot at 4:33 p.m. when a woman approached to report that she had left her pink purse, with her iPhone inside, in a car about 30 minutes early, but returned to find him missing, McGuire reported.
As McGuire was checking inside the store for witnesses, the victim’s husband arrived, tracking down his wife’s iPhone on his own phone. He watched his wife’s phone cross Rte. 2 then enter Lowe’s parking lot, then started traveling down the Rte. 95 south, according to the report.
The woman contacted her credit card company, who informed her that someone had used their credit card to buy $ 27 worth of food from Kentucky Fried Chicken, then bought $ 430 worth of merchandise from Lowes.
McGuire visited both stores, finding a receipt with the victim’s name in the KFC ledger and video footage of the thief’s purchases at Lowe’s. McGuire reported that the woman using the victim’s card was beefy, wearing a blue hoodie. The woman had her hood up, so the officer couldn’t see her face. She bought two electronic locks and two swings.
Westerly Police contacted McGuire later that day to inform him that the victim had called them to report that the victim had located his phone to an address in the city. Officers arrived at the address, 33 Fieldstone Road, and knocked on the door, receiving no response. Inside a car parked at the house, however, they saw the stolen purse lying prominently in the seat.
Westerly officers towed the vehicle to Westerly Police Headquarters at 60 Airport Road and were contacted by the vehicle owner shortly thereafter. The woman, identified as Cassandra Lang, 44, of 33 Fieldstone Way, Westerly, presented to the police station and admitted the thefts. Police in the west charged her with receiving stolen goods.
McGuire and Officer Jeffrey Taranto picked up Lang from Westerly Police Station, then transported her to Warwick Police Headquarters at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive. Lang told the officer she found the purse left in a shopping cart at Five Below, then found a credit card inside, which she used to make purchases at KFC and Lowes.
The officers charged her with one count of theft under $ 1,500 and one count of fraudulent use of credit cards, a felony. She is scheduled to appear in Fourth District Court on Jan. 15 on the charge of receiving stolen property, and for a screening in Third District court on Feb. 1 on the theft and credit fraud charges.