BELFAST, Maine — Police said Monday that a man wanted for theft of thousands of dollars in goods and merchandise in Maine, New Hampshire and Florida was arrested over the weekend in Brunswick.
Jonathon Hinote, 19, of Portland, first came to the attention of Belfast police in July when he allegedly was caught on camera at the Circle K convenience store buying nearly $500 of Visa gift cards, scratch tickets and gasoline. He paid for the purchases with a reloadable Discover credit card, according to Detective Bryan Cunningham of the Belfast Police Department.
After having some trouble getting the card accepted, a store employee manually entered the information and the sale was approved, but weeks later, it was discovered that the card apparently had never been activated by its issuer.
Cunningham said Hinote had discovered a way to illegally “reload” the credit card. According to card issuer nFinanSe and police reports, he used the credit card scam to purchase a used car in Manchester, N.H., and to stay at hotels in Maine and Florida, racking up thousands of dollars in charges altogether.
The card issuer told police that Hinote had been using the Visa gift cards up and down the East Coast, Cunningham said.
He was arrested on a warrant Sunday in Brunswick, and it is likely that he will be extradited to New Hampshire, according to the detective.