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Search for credit card cloning thieves spans 2 states

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Wake Forest police raided Joseph Holcomb's home Oct. 11, breaking down the front door. Wake Forest police raided Joseph Holcomb's home Oct. 11, breaking down the front door.
WAKE FOREST, N.C. -

Investigators are trying to figure out how a copy of a Florida woman's credit card ended up being used in a Wake Forest WalMart by a man she never met.

Court documents hint that it may be part of an organized effort across at least two states.

Warrants say surveillance video at the WalMart on Main Street in Wake Forest pinpointed Joseph Holcomb and another person using several different credit card numbers, including that of the Florida woman to buy $500 gift cards over a period of several days.

The documents say the Titusville, Fla., woman still has her credit card and has never been to North Carolina, yet a copy of her card was being used in the Triangle by Holcomb.

Wake Forest police also discovered that investigators in Horry County, S.C., are investigating Holcomb in connection with other "financial card fraud cases."

Based on the surveillance video and statements from the Florida victim, Wake Forest police raided Holcomb's home Oct. 11, breaking down the front door.

The search warrant says computers, plastic cards with magnetic strips, firearms and financial documents were among items seized.

Neighbors say Holcomb was not home during the search, which took hours to complete.

WNCN went to Holcomb's house today but he wasn't there. Neighbors say police were also at his home earlier in the day trying to locate him.

"There were two squad cars and they came up and they just knocked," said Amanda Bachand. "I guess they didn't find anything, or he wasn't home."

Bachand described Holcomb as reclusive.

"We've lived here a year and we haven't seen him," she explained. "Everyone else we know, so it's interesting we haven't seen him."

The court documents say there have been other reports made to Wake Forest police about cloned credit cards being used to buy $500 gift cards at stores other than WalMart, but the paperwork doesn't say where those incidents occurred.

Wake Forest police will only say no arrests have been made and  won't comment any further because they say it's an ongoing investigation. 

Steve Sbraccia

Steve is an award-winning reporter for WNCN and former assistant professor. A seasoned professional, Steve is proud to call the Triangle home since 2005 after over two decades in Boston, Mass.  More>>

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