Pitkin County woman faces felony credit card charge
Aspen police arrested a woman on suspicion of credit-card fraud Tuesday, alleging that she used several customers’ account information to run up clothing charges at a downtown boutique where she had worked.
Catherine Anne Turner-Wells, 49, of unincorporated Pitkin County, was released from jail Tuesday evening after posting $5,000 bond, according to a jail official.
A felony charge of unauthorized use of a financial-transaction device is pending against her.
Her arrest comes after Aspen Police Department Detective Ian MacAyeal, on May 8, spoke to the owner of Bandana Kids, who claimed that Turner-Wells used a credit-card number to buy $565.30 worth of clothing on Feb. 27. Turner-Wells, who worked as a Bandana Kids sale clerk at the time, initially told the owner that the card’s information was obtained from her mother, and she later altered her story to say it was from her uncle and then aunt, according to a statement MacAyeal wrote.
Other disputed charges came March 2, in the amount of $261.45, and March 15, with separate purchases in the amount of $633.50 and $182.31, according to MacAyeal’s statement.
All told, Turner-Wells rang up more than $1,600 in disputed charges at Bandana Kids, prompting the owner to demand that she return the items she bought or make good on the amount she owed.
Turner-Wells gave the owner another credit-card number, which also resulted in a disputed charge. The owner learned it was disputed when a customer, who was from out of town, called to say that she had not made the purchase that was reflected on her credit-card statement.
“(The owner) said she then realized that Turner-Wells had fraudulently used (the customer’s) credit card number to pay her debt,” MacAyeal wrote.
MacAyeal later learned that Turner-Wells had collected the credit-card numbers from previous customers of Bandana Kids to buy items for herself, according to the detective’s statement.
MacAyeal, upon reviewing the allegedly duped customers’ account information, also discovered a charge at Aspen Tan, which also ended up being disputed. Turner-Wells allegedly used another person’s credit-card number to pay for $186.95 in tanning sessions at Aspen Tan, MacAyeal wrote.
For the next few weeks, the Bureau of Land Management is asking for public comment regarding its decision to evaluate its oil and gas program and other management decisions across the state to promote the conservation of big game habitat.
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