Bank card used elsewhere

Published 5:53 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2019

By Frederic Lee

Staff writer

A BB&T bank card and driver’s license — stolen from a vehicle parked at Windsor Castle Park last week — have been tracked to a BB&T in Bedford County, according to the victim’s fiancé James LeBlanc.

LeBlanc said that the bank contacted his fiancée — Rachel Martin — Thursday afternoon and told her that the person possessing the license and card had put on a wig to match her license photo and attempted to cash two checks through the bank drive-through. One of them was a BB&T check written to Martin and one from a different bank that was written out to cash.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The card and license were stolen on Aug. 18 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. after the passenger rear window of the couple’s Jeep Grand Cherokee was shattered and Martin’s purse was taken, according to LeBlanc.   {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The break-in was one of over 20 cases of vehicles being either tampered with or broken into in recent weeks, with activity starting to increase the second week of August, according to Smithfield police reports. 

However, Smithfield Police Lt. Chris Meier said that the department thinks the crimes involving the breaking of car windows are being conducted by a different group of individuals than those that involved people stealing from unlocked cars. See related story. 

In terms of the stolen BB&T card, LeBlanc said, “Luckily this teller noticed that the card was stopped because it was stolen,” adding that the card had been flagged in their banking system and that the teller had held onto the card and license instead of returning them to the wigged person. 

LeBlanc said that no checks had been stolen in the car break-in last week, but that it had also resulted in the theft of Martin’s credit cards — which have been cancelled.  

LeBlanc said that contacted the Smithfield Police Department about the attempted use of the driver’s license and car, and was directed by them to contact the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office. 

LeBlanc said the officer told him the crime wasn’t in Smithfield’s jurisdiction. He said that he was “extremely agitated” over what he perceived was a lack of urgency by the Smithfield department.

According to Meier, the department told Leblanc to call the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office to get the investigation started, because it’s easier for Bedford to do the investigation and provide Smithfield with the results. 

Meier said that the Bedford investigators were reviewing video footage from the BB&T. 

A 2017 Lexus also had its rear passenger window shattered at the same gravel parking lot on South Church Street where the Jeep had been parked, and a cooler was lifted from that vehicle at roughly the same time, according to Smithfield Deputy Police Chief Matthew Rogers.   {/mprestriction}