Woman charged with theft and fraud after allegedly using credit card she found at gas station

Nicole Smith, 29, of Gainesville, is scheduled to appear for an arraignment hearing before Associate Judge Raymond Gross at 9 a.m. March 29 at the Ozark County Courthouse on charges of criminal theft and fraudulent use of a credit card.

According to the probable cause statement prepared by Ozark County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey Lane, at 7:45 p.m. on January 25, Gainesville resident Daniel Johnson contacted the sheriff’s dispatch line to report that his credit card had been stolen and was being used without his consent.

Johnson allegedly told the officer that he lost his credit card the day before and received notifications that it had been used since then at Tobacco Warehouse near the Missouri-Arkansas border. After seeing the charge at the tobacco shop, Johnson said he called the store and spoke with the manager. He and the manager viewed CCTV footage of the store’s security system. He recognized the woman who used the card as Smith.

Johnson said he had not received a definitive figure for the amount of money taken from his bank account by the fraudulent use of the card, but he estimated it at around $1,500.

Johnson provided agents with emailed copies of CCTV footage and store photos, as well as transactional account details, including purchase amounts and locations of use.

Officers located Smith after speaking with Johnson and reviewing documents he had gathered. She was transported to the Ozark County Sheriff’s Office, read her Miranda rights, and questioned about the incident.

“When asked if she used a credit card belonging to the victim, Ms Smith said she knowingly used the credit card she found outside a petrol station to purchase items from various businesses,” the report said. “Ms. Smith said she also purchased gift cards and completed a $50.89 PayPal transaction.

Smith reportedly told officers she could not remember the total amount she spent with the card. She said she threw the card away at another store before returning to Gainesville, the report said.

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