By Gary Lloyd
The Trussville Police Department has announced a significant fraud arrest.
Deborah Rosah Smith, of Birmingham, was arrested during a traffic stop June 7 for obstruction of justice after giving an officer a false name, according to authorities.
Lt. Jeff Bridges said once her true identity was revealed, it was discovered that she had two outstanding felony warrants for her arrest. In her possession were two laptop computers that had recently been purchased from Staples, Bridges said. The arresting officer also found several wigs and credit cards that did not belong to her, he said.
An investigation by the Criminal Investigations Division revealed that Smith had allegedly been stealing credit cards in several jurisdictions throughout the area. Her method of operation was to frequent small businesses in which female employees worked. She would allegedly scope out the area and locate a purse that belonged to an employee, Bridges said.
Bridges said Smith would then take a few credit cards from the purse, or in some instances, she would take the entire purse. She would then make purchases at nearby stores with the stolen credit cards, Bridges said.
So far, the following agencies are investigating Smith for credit card theft/fraud: Trussville, Hoover, Gardendale, Pelham, Gadsden, Ashville, Mountain Brook and the United States Secret Service.
Smith is currently being held on a $105,000 bond on charges of illegal possession of a credit card, identity theft, obstruction of justice and trafficking in stolen identification. More charges are expected to be filed. Bridges said Smith has been transferred to Jefferson County Jail.
It is estimated that the fraudulent charges are in excess of $25,000, Bridges said.
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