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Archive for Wednesday, August 26, 1992

STATION REPORTS ILLEGAL CHARGES

August 26, 1992

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Police and the owner of a local service station today were advising station customers to check their credit card bills in light of an audit indicating that a former employee had made $1,265 worth of unlawful charges.

Greg Benefiel, owner of Texaco Self Service, 1415 W. Sixth, reported to police on Tuesday that the 19-year-old former employee allegedly made 420 illegal charges over the past several weeks.

During an interview this morning with the Journal-World, Benefiel said the charges were uncovered during a random audit. He said that after he made the discovery, he checked computer records dating back to June, when the store received a new computerized credit card system.

Records reportedly show that the clerk began committing the crime in mid-July.

According to a police report, the clerk would punch a credit card number into the computer, then make a small charge, usually for about $4. The clerk then would take $4 out of the register.

Police said the clerk told officers that when he started making the charges, he picked credit card numbers at random. The clerk also admitted to using customers' numbers, police said.

Benefiel said this morning that he's awaiting a computer printout listing all of the numbers the clerk punched in. He said he has found proof that at least two local customers' numbers were used.

Police Sgt. Mark Warren said that the former employee has not been arrested and that the investigation is continuing. Warren suggested that anyone who thinks or can prove they were victimized should contact their credit card company.

Benefiel stressed that there is recourse for victims.

"All a customer has to do is write to their credit card company," he said. "They (the company) will refer that charge to Texaco, and, obviously, we're aware of the situation."

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