Police say man stole credit card, called bank to see how much money he could spend

Posted Aug. 12, 2011, at 4:03 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 12, 2011, at 8:20 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — Police say a Lincolnville man accused of stealing a credit card was caught this week after he called the issuing bank to check how much credit he had left.

Jesse Grinnell, 22, recently stole a backpack from a vehicle parked at Francine Bistro in Camden, according to police reports. Camden police contacted police in Belfast on Aug. 9 to alert them that the stolen card had been used twice at Belfast Variety in Belfast. A total of $165 in charges had been illegally racked up on the card, police said.

The video surveillance system at Belfast Variety captured footage of the two fraudulent transactions, but no one recognized the man using the card.

However, when Grinnell allegedly called the Bank of America to double-check the remaining credit on the stolen card, the bank automatically recorded his phone number.

Detective Sgt. Bryan Cunningham was able to input the phone number into police records and found that it belonged to Grinnell. A police mug shot of Grinnell from a prior arrest showed that it was the same man who had driven up to Belfast Variety with the stolen card, police said.

Cunningham then called Grinnell, who agreed to meet with him.

He was issued several criminal summonses, including burglary of a motor vehicle, theft by unauthorized taking, forgery, operating after revocation and theft by deception.

“Technology and a very good detective together, you can’t beat that,” Belfast Police Chief Jeff Trafton said about the investigation.

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