November 2, 2015

Credit card fraud suspect and accomplice arrested

A credit card fraud suspect and his accomplice were both arrested in Key Largo Friday.

The Sheriff’s Office received a call shortly after 1 p.m. Friday from the victim, who lives in Key West. He said his credit card had just been fraudulently used at the Walgreen’s store at the 99.5 mile marker of the highway. Deputy Dave Campbell responded to that store and met with the manager. He reviewed video which showed the transaction taking place. The suspect, later identified as  39 year old Andrew McCarty of Coconut Creek, Florida used a fraudulent credit card with the victim’s card number to purchase a $300 gift card at the store.  Deputy Campbell broadcast a description of the suspect and the clothing he was wearing over police radios.

A short time later, the Walgreen’s store manager called to report the suspect had returned to the store. Although deputies were not able to get there in time to apprehend him, the manager was able to get a description of the vehicle he was traveling in – a white Mercedes 300 with a black glass roof. That information was added to the possible suspect information and deputies in the Upper Keys began searching for the vehicle.

Detective Bob Dosh spotted the vehicle parked at a gas pump at the Circle K store at the 102 mile marker. A man fitting McCarty’s description got out of the car and went into the store. A second man, later identified as 28 year old Andre Austin of Tamarac, Florida was the driver and remained in the car.

Detective Dosh and Deputy Frank Delgado pulled up to the Mercedes. Deputy Delgado pulled in behind the car, while Detective Dosh pulled in at an angle in front of it. When Austin saw the Detective pull in front of him, he put the car in reverse and began to back toward the deputy’s vehicle. He then put the car in drive and rammed Detective Dosh’s vehicle in an attempt to escape. He was ordered out of the vehicle and was taken into custody, charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon (his vehicle) and fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer. He was also charged with grand theft, four counts fraudulent use of a credit card and use or possession of another person’s identification without consent.

In the meantime, Deputy Campbell arrived on the scene and entered the store, where he saw McCarty at the front counter attempting to purchase more gift cards with the fraudulent credit card. He approached McCarty to take him into custody. McCarty told him he was carrying a gun, for which he had a concealed weapons permit. At that point, McCarty was handcuffed and the firearm was secured safely.

McCarty was charged with four counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, grand theft, use or possession of another person’s identification without consent and engaging in a criminal offense with a weapon.

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