Newport police warn of credit card scam after man makes off with two cellphones

A surveillance photo of a man police say stole two cell phones worth more than $1,000 for a Verizon Wireless Zone store in Newport on Saturday. Newport Police are asking for the public's help in capturing the man.
Newport Police Department
A surveillance photo of a man police say stole two cell phones worth more than $1,000 for a Verizon Wireless Zone store in Newport on Saturday. Newport Police are asking for the public's help in capturing the man.
Posted Aug. 14, 2013, at 6:24 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 14, 2013, at 7:06 p.m.
Another surveillance photo of a man police say stole two cell phones worth more than $1,000 for a Verizon Wireless Zone store in Newport on Saturday.
Newport Police Department
Another surveillance photo of a man police say stole two cell phones worth more than $1,000 for a Verizon Wireless Zone store in Newport on Saturday.

NEWPORT, Maine — Newport police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who stole more than $1,000 worth of cellphones from a retail store on Saturday.

Newport police Chief Leonard Macdaid said on Wednesday that a man entered the Wireless Zone store, a Verizon Wireless premium retailer, on Saturday afternoon and made off with two cellphones.

The man entered the store at around 4 p.m on Saturday wanting to buy two cellphones, said Macdaid.

The man gave the clerk a Wisconsin driver’s license with the name of Jonathan Richardson. He also gave the clerk a credit card to pay for the phones, but it was declined, said Macdaid.

The man told the clerk he thought there was a hold on his credit card because he was making a large purchase out of state.

“He presumably made a phone call to the credit card company,” said Macdaid, adding that he could have been calling anybody.

The man then told the clerk that a $2,000 limit was cleared for his credit card and asked the clerk to approve the purchase. The clerk then overrode the declined card and approved it, he said.

Macdaid said he wanted to alert the public and retailers about the possible scam and alleged scammer.

Surveillance photos showing a black male wearing a white long-sleeved shirt at the counter were released to the public.

Anyone with information on the man in the photos is asked to call the Newport Police Department at 368-3263.

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