The Tribune-Democrat, Pennsylvania USA.
Thursday, April 13, 2006.
A Johnstown woman has been accused of swindling $2,576 from a legally blind neighbor by charging items on her credit card - some while the victim stood in line beside her.
Patricia Ann Reed, 47, of the Vine Street Tower, was charged by Johnstown and Richland Township police with numerous counts relating to several thefts that took place last month.
She was lodged in the Cambria County Prison in lieu of bail.
Police said Reed's undoing began when a retailer called the victim to see if she was satisfied with her new computer. The woman told the store she did not purchase a computer and could not use one anyway because of her poor eyesight.
Reed befriended the victim, who also resides at the Vine Street Tower, several months ago, Richland Detective Thomas E. Keirn said Tuesday.
Police say Reed took the woman shopping on March 1 at Circuit City in Richland Town Centre, bringing items to the checkout counter that the victim wanted plus items the victim didn't know about. Those goods included a laptop computer and accessories that sold for $1,450, police said.
The victim paid for all of the items with her credit card.
After the Circuit City shopping spree, police said Reed came into possession of the victim's credit card without the victim's knowledge and continued shopping.
Several hours after the trip to Circuit City, Reed, by herself, reportedly bought $244 worth of flowers, candles and other items at Schrader Flower Shop, 510 Vine St., Johnstown. She forged her friend's name on a credit-card purchase, police said.
On March 2, Reed allegedly bought $743 in clothing and jewelry at the TJ Maxx store in the Richland Town Centre by using the victim's credit card.
On March 8, Reed bought eight compact discs for $139 at George's Song Shop, 128 Market St. in downtown Johnstown, with the victim's credit card, authorities say.
She was nabbed by Johnstown police a short time later on March 8 when Cambria Jewelers, 605 Main St. in downtown Johnstown, alerted them to a woman attempting to buy $1,144 worth of jewelry with a stolen credit card.
A preliminary hearing for Reed on the Richland charges was set for Tuesday before District Judge Max Pavlovich.
A hearing for Reed on the Johnstown charges that was scheduled for today before District Judge Michael Musulin is being rescheduled.
Frank Sojak may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 532-5058.
End of article.
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