Arroyo Grande police seek help capturing alleged thieves

January 15, 2023


The Arroyo Grande Police Department is asking the public for help identifying two suspects who allegedly used stolen credit cards to make purchases at Walmart.

Police are circulating images from surveillance footage of a man and woman recently reordered leaving the Walmart on Branch Street. The pair bought several soft drinks along with the gift cards.

Investigators are asking anyone who is able to help identify the suspects to contact the police department at (805) 473-5110.

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I sure wish that all places of business would ask for ID when using a credit/debit card. Even if it means I have to wait a little longer at checkout.

But, to the establishment its money made so I’m sure it will never happen.

I sure wish US credit card issuers would utilize the chip-and-PIN system that every other country in the civilized world uses. Instead, they just use chip-and-signature which is never checked. The banks thought that US consumers were too dumb and stubborn to want to enter in a PIN for every transaction like the rest of the world, so they dumbed it down to make purchases a little easier and fraud a whole lot easier.

The credit companies don’t really care about fraud, they only care about charging high interest and late fees, in my experience.

Shiti Bank contacted me while I was out of town about a suspect charge attempted on my account. I replied my card was home and I had not used it. They said it was a fraudulent attempt and it had been denied, I asked what I could do, close the account, someone had my information. They suggested I put a vacation hold on the account until I got home so any attempt to use my account would be denied. Then call from my home phone and they would give me a new account number. I did this and they informed me there was an eleven-thousand-dollar charge to my account. Turns out it was a promotional check they had sent in the mail that was stolen out of my mailbox before I left town. I had my mail held at the P O. I asked who the check was written to. They said they couldn’t tell me, I asked who signed it they said it’s your name on it but not your signature. Then the big Question, why did Shiti Bank process the check if my account had a hold on it? Answer, do you know how many checks we send out each week. I don’t care, I never asked for them, was my reply.

I then said I wanted to see the signature on the check and what was written on it and was told I could request a copy of the check. Really a copy but no info over the phone, ok send me a copy. At this point I felt like I was dealing with a government agency, getting information was like pulling teeth.

After receiving the copy, I made a trip to the bank that it was deposited into, yes you guessed it Bank of Italy (aka B of A). I asked many questions and got a few answers.

The account was opened two days before the check was deposited and Bank of Italy put the check through three times before it cleared Shiti Bank. The account was closed after it cleared and was withdrawn in cash. Most likely bogus information to open the account. How does this happen? I have to jump through hoops to do anything, ID’s, social security number, proof of residence, first born child.

End of the day I was not responsible for the charges, but they never seemed to care, and it was my responsibility to report and research it. Every time I called Shiti Bank and they said, “Citi Bank security” I said ” Citi Bank has no security”. Wow, many hours spent for what?