TPSO: Group uses Houma restaurant to steal customer credit info

TPSO: Group uses Houma restaurant to steal customer credit info

HOUMA, LA (WVUE) - Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's deputies are looking for a gang of thieves accused of stealing peoples' credit information from a Chinese restaurant and racking up thousands of dollars.

"These two waitresses that all of these victims came in contact with where brought in from an employment agency by this restaurant," Capt. Dawn Foret said.

Detectives said the two women worked at the Dynasty Buffet on W. Park Ave. in Houma to steal customers' credit information and pass that information to an unknown man to purchase gift cards.

Surveillance video caught the man at one of the stores.

"He went to Houma, Baton Rouge and Slidell areas into locations such as Home Depot, Bed Bath and Beyond and gas stations and purchased all gift cards," Foret said. "So we are in the process of attempting to track those gift cards, as well."

Investigators believed the man purchased gift cards to quickly use the stolen credit information and possibly sell the gift cards for cash.

"What this suspect is doing is just continuously using the card until it declines. So he's pretty much wiping out everyone's bank accounts as soon as they get these cards," Foret said.

More than 30 victims have come forward and more than $30,000 was stolen in just one week, according to deputies. Most transactions were between $300 $1,000.

"Sounds like they had a good going there," one of the victims told FOX 8 News.

He discovered his bank account was overdrawn when he was returning to Houma from vacationing in Florida.

"My wife is looking it up and sees there is a transaction at the Dollar Store in Schriever, Louisiana for $400, and it put us over in our account. We are stuck in Mobile. Luckily, my daughter has money on her card from her work place that we are able to pay for the food, get gas and get home," the victim said.

Before deputies got wind of the scam, the women had quit working at the restaurant.

"They're ghosts," Foret said.

The women used fake names and came from New York, according to detectives.

The restaurant owner did not answer FOX 8's request for comment.

Copyright 2015 WVUE. All rights reserved.