Fairfax County police say a Centreville man allegedly swiped his landlord's credit cards and then went on a shopping spree, treating himself to a camcorder and three new suits. Accordingly, they have charged him with three counts of identity theft.
He is Billy Richardson, 32, of Rockymount Court in Centreville's Rocky Run community. Police also charged him with possession of a weapon.
Det. James L. Reid explained the case against him in an affidavit for a search warrant to seek possible evidence — credit cards, items purchased with them and any records and documents pertaining to the crime — in Richardson's home. He wrote that Richardson has been renting the basement portion of a home for the past 14 months from an owner who lives in the upper portion.
The entry from the basement to the main part of the house is not locked, wrote Reid. However, he added, "Richardson understood that he was only allowed in the basement."
On July 11, the homeowner traveled to Canada to visit relatives. (Centre View is not revealing his name or exact address because he's a victim). While there, he received a phone call from an account representative about his AT&T Universal Master Card. He was advised that this card was activated from his home address while he was in Canada.
"On July 12, a $1,354 charge was put on this card to pay a Cingular Wireless bill," wrote Reid. "This card [had been] in a drawer in [the victim's] bedroom." But that's not all. When he returned home, he discovered additional items were missing.
These were: A Bank One Visa card, an MBNA checkbook, several store credit cards, four gold coins bearing the words "Republic of Iran," two "Sagittarius" medallions, one gold chain and a gold necklace with pearls and its matching bracelet. All of these things had been in the homeowner's bedroom on the second floor of his home.
The Visa card had been used at the Best Buy in Manassas, and the detective spoke with the store manager. "She advised that a Sony camcorder and accessories were purchased with the card," wrote Reid. "The purchase price was $1,348. A service plan was purchased with [the victim's] name."
Reid further discovered that, on July 16, a $1,039 purchase was made with that Visa card at S&K Menswear in Fredericksburg. "I spoke with the salesman, Anthony Logan," wrote Reid. "[He] advised that a tall black male purchased three suits. All three suits were 'Jones of New York.' They were olive, black and tan. Richardson is 6 feet 4 inches tall and is a black male."
Meanwhile, the victim also learned that a check from his stolen checkbook had been used. He obtained a copy of the check from MBNA. "The check was made out to Billy Richardson for $2,000," wrote the detective. "[The victim] advised [me] that he did not write this check and has never written a check to Richardson."
Reid noted that the back of the check revealed that it had been negotiated at Synergy One Federal Credit Union, in connection with a particular account number. Reid then spoke with the fraud investigator at Synergy One.
"She advised that this account belongs to Billy Richardson," he wrote. "She further advised that the check was split three ways: $500 went to pay a loan, $800 went to savings and $700 was taken as cash. [The victim] does not have an account with Synergy One Federal Credit Union."
Reid spoke again with the victim on July 27 and, the next day, he obtained a warrant for Richardson's arrest. He was taken to the Adult Detention Center and was later released on $3,000 bond. He has a Sept. 13 court date.