Woman accused of using fraudulent gift cards to buy deep fryer, other items at Briarwood Mall
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 AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at (734) 623-2527 and email at firstname.lastname@example.org.