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Posted on Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:15 p.m.

Woman accused of using fraudulent gift cards to buy deep fryer, other items at Briarwood Mall

By Lee Higgins

An Inkster woman is accused of using fraudulent MasterCard prepaid gift cards to buy items Sunday at Briarwood Mall, including a deep fryer, Ann Arbor police said.

Tamesha Renee Byrd, 31, is charged with stealing or retaining a financial transaction device without consent and two counts of possessing a fraudulent financial transaction device.

She was arraigned this afternoon at the Washtenaw County Jail and released on a promise to appear in court. A 41-year-old Saginaw woman and her 17-year-old daughter were with Byrd, police said, but were released as the investigation continues.

Det. Sgt. Brian Jatczak said Byrd used fraudulent gift cards to make three purchases at Sears, buying a deep fryer, gift cards and other items. The total value of the purchases was more than $500, police said.

Loss prevention officials at Sears called police and notified other stores that Byrd used phony gift cards, Jatczak said. At 5:14 p.m., roughly 25 minutes after Byrd left Sears, officers confronted her at JCPenney, Jatczak said. Byrd was at a cash register, attempting to buy more than $700 in merchandise, including pots, pans and gift cards, police said.

Officers arrested Byrd and released the mother and daughter who were with her.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 9.

Lee Higgins covers crime and courts for He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at



Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

I just hope the mother and daughter with her who were probably being "trained" in "how to do it" have learned a good lesson and won't try and repeat this crime. Stealing in any form costs all the honest citizens thousands and thousands of dollars every year because merchants have to raise prices to cover the losses they incur. Then you and I pay the higher prices!


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 8:05 a.m.

Poor thing. She was probably so proud of herself after leaving Sears; just dreaming of what she was going to cook with her new fryer. Then bam! They get her at JC Penny.

Pixie Belle

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:36 a.m.

I am quite confused. Not saying that I am a criminal but how would one even get away with this in the first place. How would you be able to run a fake or altered card through and have it approved. It seems like it would not have been approved at the register.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:41 p.m.

I think that it is different once someone leaves your store with stolen merchandise than if you detain them while they are still in your store, maybe there is a difference between attempting a transaction and the store declining it before it happens, than letting the transaction be completed. Maybe one is intent to commit and one is commited?


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 4:45 a.m.

I am also confused. Plus, I thought most (all?) retailers forbid the purchasing of gift cards with a gift card... Just sayin'.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:35 a.m.

this* article


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:34 a.m.

What made these cards fraudulent? Can the author of these story please clarify.

Anthony Clark

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:21 a.m.

Another slow news day? This happens on an almost daily basis at my place of employment. People are always trying to get something for nothing.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

In a way, it is "our" giving so many people the opportunity to live off "welfare", they develop an attitude of phones, free cars, free food, so why not "free" fryers???

Wolf's Bane

Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 1:14 a.m.

Did this one also try to escape by jumping in the pond and swimming away? What a hoot.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:18 p.m.

She was allowed to make $500 in purchases from Sears and THEN loss prevention from Sears got skittish?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:24 p.m.

There's no crime committed until she accepts the receipt.

Ricardo Queso

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:04 p.m.

Please do not assume that all who enjoy food fried to a crispy golden brown are criminals. Hate the friar not the fryer.


Sun, Jun 16, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

Chuckle! Chuckle!


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:51 a.m.

Actually, your first version was pretty funny, too.

Ricardo Queso

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:14 p.m.

Sorry, should have read "liar" not "friar".


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

Tamesha Byrd--past convictions-- Identity theft possessing a stolen credit card possessing 2 or more fake/forged drivers licenses identity theft knowingly passing bad checks unauthorized credit application She is released by "promising" to appear in court? How many more chances does this person get? We need to build more prisons. This will create jobs and keep all these abnormal peopkle separated from normal hardworking people.


Wed, Oct 26, 2011 : 2:18 a.m.

It's involved but you absolutely do not have to print some counterfeit document to utter and publish. Signing a stolen check and passing it off as your own is uttering and publishing.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:39 p.m.

Uttering and publishing is not just cashing a bad's the printing or making a fraudulent check too.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:23 p.m.

Uttering and Publishing is cashing bad checks. He listed that. Just sayin.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 10:42 p.m.

You missed the Uttering & Publishing conviction too

Ron Granger

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

Let this be a lesson to the youth of America. When you have the craving for deep fat fried food, go to a fast food joint. Blimpy Burger has great onion rings and burgers. Rays Red Hots has amazing waffle fries. I like'em with cheese (they have real cheddar) and vinegar and ketchup. Don't give into the temptation of stealing a deep fat frier, as this woman allegedly did. Just because you have a deep fat frier does not mean you can make good deep fat fried food. It isn't that simple. It takes skills.