A Tampa man is facing multiple credit card fraud charges after Sarasota deputies say he attempted to use a forged credit card at a Publix in Sarasota.
A cashier at the Publix at 4840 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota alerted deputies on Monday after Neil Heaven, 27, left the store after trying to use a credit card that appeared to be fraudulent, the sheriff’s office said.
Deputies stopped Heaven’s car in the parking lot and discovered three credit cards that showed signs of tampering, according to an affidavit.
Detectives also located a laptop computer and a credit card encoder on the floor of the vehicle, along with a shopping bag containing more than 25 American Express and Visa gift cards worth more than $3,000 and receipts showing credit card purchases at other Publix stores, the affidavit states.
When a detective ran the credit cards through a card reader it showed the cards’ magnetic strips had been encoded with a different number than was on the front of the cards, the affidavit states.
Heaven was charged with three felony counts of possession of a forged credit card and one count of using a reencoder to defraud.
The investigation is ongoing and more charges are pending, the sheriff’s office said.