Thieves go on shopping spree in SLO with stolen credit cards

June 24, 2019

Police are searching for a man and woman who stole two wallets from shoppers near Los Osos Valley Road in San Luis Obispo on Sunday, then purchased thousands of dollars of products, mostly from large stores in the area, according to police. [Cal Coast Times]

Shortly before 2 p.m., the thieves began snatching wallets from shoppers in the 1500 block of Froom Ranch Way. The pair then bought thousands of dollars of products from Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, Best Buy, Apple and Vons.

Police are circulating surveillance images of the suspects. Investigators are asking anyone who has information about the thefts or the couple’s whereabouts to call (805) 791-7312.

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I guess you can walk into the Apple Store in SLO and make a $4,000 purchase with a credit card and not be asked for ID even though it has happened before in the recent past.

The store should be liable IMO.

There’s no excuse for this, stores should check for valid ID, if they don’t then they should be liable. Of course that would require a human to do it. Also, are these thieves pickpockets ? How are they snatching people wallets?

Just another confirmation for all of us law abiding citizens to write on your credit card where the signature line is, ASK FOR ID, instead of putting your signature in that allotted space.

Liability is taken completely off of you.

“The biggest reason the strategy doesn’t work is because merchants don’t always look at the backs of cards.

“A merchant is not obligated to ask for any identification at all before allowing use of a valid credit card,” says Stephen Lesavich, co-author of “The Plastic Effect: How Urban Legends Influence the Use and Misuse of Credit Cards.”

Thanks to newer technologies, some transactions don’t even require a credit card to change hands, says Doug Johnson, senior vice president of payments and cybersecurity for the American Bankers Association.

For example, some department stores have point-of-service terminals where customers swipe their cards themselves and then sign the display.

Also, contactless payment cards and smartphone payment systems let you wave your card or phone 1 to 2 inches from a card reader to make a purchase, again negating the need for a merchant to handle your card.”

“The strategy can also stop you from making your own transactions.

“When you’re signing the back of the card, one of the things you’re doing is completing the contract with the credit card company so the merchant is not required to honor that card unless it has been signed,” says Weisman.

According to Visa’s 2014 Card Acceptance Guidelines for Visa merchants, an unsigned credit card is not considered valid and merchants are instructed not to take it. MasterCard has similar rules.

In fact, some variation of the phrase “Not Valid Without Signature” can be found on Visa and Mastercard credit cards. American Express also advises customers to sign the backs of their cards, says spokeswoman Kimberly B. Litt.”

As a person that functions with fiduciary responsibilities, I’ll take my angle of writing in ASK FOR ID instead of signing it every single day and twice on Sundays.

Plenty of vendors smartly still request ID to match the CC.

YMMV but it never varies in the lives of my clients. Nor mine for that matter.


They obviously don’t believe they’re going to get caught….but when they do, I hope the judge ignores the defense attorney and sends them up the river to make license plates. Also, mandates they pay the stores for the loot and adds a healthy fine for the people they stole from. Perhaps a good flogging…

And the stores need to ask my I.D. (if that’s still legal).