PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives arrested a Punta Gorda woman Wednesday after she was identified as the woman seen in a video taking another woman’s wallet left behind at a local store and using the debit card at another store.
Detectives charged Laurel Ash Infante, 40, with Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card and Grand Theft from a Person Age 65 of Older. Detectives received several pieces of information that were used to identify Infante as the person in question.
On Sunday December 1, the victim, a 65-year-old woman, reported that she accidentally left her clutch-style wallet at the checkout area at the Wal-Mart Super Center, located at 5001 Taylor Road. When she went back to retrieve her wallet, it was not there and it had not been turned in as found property.
Wal-Mart’s loss prevention personnel checked the video of the victim’s transaction and saw that the woman who had been in line behind the victim had put the wallet in her own purse and left the store. The suspect had used her own credit card to purchase a Christmas tree.
A few days after the initial report, the victim again contacted the Sheriff’s Office to report that her debit card had been used at the 7-11, located at 1121 Bal Harbor Blvd. Detectives learned that there had been two separate ATM transactions on the debit card, totaling $407.90.
Detectives assigned to the case obtained the suspect’s credit card number that had been used to buy the Christmas tree and, after having obtained a subpoena, learned that the card was issued to Laurel Ash Infante.
Meanwhile, the detectives released the Wal-Mart video and asked for information in identifying the woman who took the wallet. They received several tips with at least one confirming that the person in the video was Infante.
Detectives located and arrested Infante. She was transported to the Charlotte County Jail and released on a $5,000 bond.