Police: Car Hoppers Steal Credit Cards
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Thomas Buchanan woke up Saturday morning to find his company credit card, iPod and camera missing from his car, and police say he became a victim to fuel a young person’s video habit.
The Mandarin resident said his car was locked, but the door was broken and easy to pry open.
Jacksonville police arrested Caleb Turner, Edward Armstrong and Jarrod Dollinger on Tuesday. They said the men are responsible for a series of car break-ins, including Buchanan’s.
According to a police report, at least one of the men was using the stolen credit cards to buy gold credits to strengthen his online character in the popular game World of Warcraft.
“They tried to spend like $2,000, but only $523 actually went through,” Buchanan said. “It’s not what I would do. I’ve got a very long wish list, and World of Warcraft gold is not on really on it.”
After initially denying any involvement, police said all three suspects eventually admitted to car hopping in Mandarin. Car hopping is a crime of convenience in which thieves go after easy targets. As soon as they find a door that’s open, they take whatever’s inside and run off with it.
Getting those gold credits turned out to be gold for police. Armstrong left a cybertrail, police said. They said they followed it, obtained a phone number and then went knocking on his door. He was in jail not long after.
Police said the suspects broke into five cars and stole at least three credit cards. Officers are trying to determine if there are more victims.
Buchanan said he’s getting his car door fixed right away.