CCSO arrests Palm Harbor man for credit card fraud

MGN Online


CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.- A Palm Harbor man who was arrested in late October on several traffic related charges now faces additional charges involving the fraudulent use of several credit cards from multiple victims.

50-year-old John McNeil is currently being held on a total $71,000 bond on a total of 12 separate charges.

On October 24, deputies in the Englewood area received a tip to look for a gold Buick Impala that was being driven by a man suspected of being involved in a theft that was reported in Sarasota County. The Buick was being followed by someone who was providing directions on the vehicle.

Deputies located the Impala and stopped it in the area of David Boulevard and South McCall Road. Authorities say as soon as the deputy got out of his car to approach the driver, the Buick sped away.

Deputies did not pursue the vehicle, but continued to look for it as it was spotted several times speeding around the area.

Officials were able to deploy road spikes as the Buick sped down Foresman Boulevard and the vehicle finally came to a stop.  The driver, identified as McNeil, attempted to flee on foot, but was taken into custody.

The witness who had originally been following the Buick identified McNeil as the person involved in a wallet theft in Sarasota County and who he had followed out of the Wal-Mart on McCall Road in Englewood. McNeil was alleged to have had a 50 inch Vizio television with him when he left the Wal-Mart, but he no longer had it when he was taken into custody. McNeil allegedly told deputies that someone was going to find a present in their driveway.

McNeil was initially charged with multiple charges including fleeing to elude and resisting an officer without violence. While in custody at the Charlotte County Jail, detectives also charged McNeil with fraudulent use of a credit card and grand theft.

In early October, a victim reported that someone had taken her wallet containing several credit cards while she was at work in Sarasota County. Before she could cancel the cards, they had been used at several businesses in the Englewood and Port Charlotte area, including Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and a Circle K Store. Authorities say surveillance video from the businesses showed that the person using the credit cards appeared to be McNeil.

Detectives filed additional credit card and theft charges against McNeil in three other cases. In each case, the victims’ wallets containing credit cards were removed from their purses while they were at work. The credit cards were then used at a variety of different businesses in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and Englewood. In each case, video surveillance allegedly showed McNeil making purchases with the credit cards.

Authorities are continuing their investigation into other similar cases. Detectives are also still attempting to locate the television that may have been left in someone’s driveway on October 24, reminding the public that by law property that is found is supposed to be turned over to law enforcement.

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