By Samantha Smith
Two people were arrested on March 29 and 30 for multiple counts of credit card fraud and organized retail theft stemming from a June 2015 incident where they cloned credit cards to purchase items at the Prime Outlets Mall in San Marcos.
Authorities arrested Carl Romander Fields, 33, of New Orleans, LA, who was booked into the Hays County Jail on March 29 on one count of organized retail theft, a third degree felony, and 12 counts of credit card abuse, which is a state jail felony. Field was released on March 30 on $85,000 bond.
Police indicted Tyranika Smith, 27, of Humble, on March 30 on one count of organized retail theft, a count of fraudulent possession of identification, a second degree felony, and 17 counts of credit card abuse. Smith is currently being held in the Hays County Jail on $125,000 bond.
According to an arresting affidavit, Fields and his friend Smith were reported flashing multiple credit and debit cards at the Gucci store on June 4, 2015 while attempting to make a purchase. Their display prompted store employees to call the authorities.
Fields was approached by officers Daniel Arredondo and Pete Weaver while he was still in his vehicle. After questioning, Fields revealed that he had multiple credit cards in his name and multiple purchases in his vehicle all with corresponding receipts.
Fields said to Arredondo and Weaver that he was willing to cooperate in any way he could because he was already on probation in Louisiana and under court order not to leave the state.
It was later revealed that Fields was on probation in Louisiana on drug charges.
The affidavit detailed that Fields told Arredondo and Weaver he was waiting for his friend, Smith, who was still shopping, and that she had multiple credit cards as well.
The affidavit detailed that while Fields was being detained at his vehicle, Smith was located in a different section of the mall by undercover officer Phil Jackson, where she was stopped and questioned about the credit cards in her possession.
Officer Jackson asked Smith about her credit cards and she said they were all in her name, which he verified.
Officer Dustin Slaughter soon arrived at their location and after he ran Smith’s Louisiana drivers license, he discovered she had an outstanding felony warrant for her arrest from Harris County Texas.
The affidavit stated that both Smith and Fields were in possession of over 32 different credit and debit cards. It was suspicious to the officers, according to the affidavit, since most people may have multiple store credit cards but typically only have one debit card.
During a case follow up, Jackson determined from his research that all 32 credit and debit cards had been cloned, which means they displayed Smith and Fields’ names on them, but they had the wrong bank information, names and account numbers attached to them.
While Smith and Fields were reported as being together at the outlet mall during this investigation, the two cases are being tried separately.
At this time there have been no court dates set for either Smith or Fields.