Officers Martin Curran, Bill Henderly and Sgt. Mark Kusser were called to Toys“R”Us for a possible scam after two men purchased $1,000 in gift cards using credit cards.
After receiving a report the men had purchased $2,000 in gift cards at Lowe’s, Curran saw a man who matched the descriptions walking toward a white GMC Yukon parked near Staples. As the Yukon pulled away, he saw there were several people inside the vehicle, which bore Michigan plates. He stopped the vehicle, which turned into the parking lot at Applebee’s.
Police believe they have confirmed the identities of three of the vehicle’s occupants: Julius Lee Wallace III, 32, from Westland, Mich.; Tarea Monique Billingsea, 32, of Westland, Mich.; and James Arthur Timmons III, 30, of Detroit.
Police are waiting on fingerprint results from the FBI for two other men who provided multiple identities. One man used the name of Robert Mauice Dozier, but his appearance matched a photo ID with the name of William Williams. The second man showed Curran a Pennsylvania driver’s license with the name of David Smith, but told police his last name was Moore. Later he told police his name was Warren Deleon McCallum of Detroit.
Police do not expect results from the FBI before Tuesday.
Officers were able to confirm the group had been to Sandusky Mall, Lowe’s and Toys“R”Us. A search of the Yukon turned up a bag containing 18 Discover credit cards, five Visa Rush debit cards and six $500 Home Depot gift cards, along with Game Stop, Lowe’s, Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us gift cards of unknown value. Two Xbox Ones, four video games and two controllers were also found in the vehicle.
“This is the largest bust of something like this that we have seen” Curran said, adding he has been with Perkins police for 10 years, while Henderly and Kusser both have been with the department at least twice as long.
Curran said the group appears to be very good at what it does.
Timmons was charged criminal simulation (a type of fraud) and tampering with evidence. Billingsea was charged with possession of criminal tools and tampering with evidence, according to staff at the Erie County jail. Wallace was charged with complicity to criminal simulation and tampering with evidence. McCallum was charged with tampering with evidence and identity theft for the taking the identification of another.
Dozier was booked into jail as John Doe and charged with criminal simulation and tampering with evidence.
All five remain in the Erie County jail without bond until their court appearance Tuesday morning.