MAPLEWOOD, MO (KTVI) - In Maplewood, a brazen waiter now faces jail time for stealing a customer’s credit card and spending thousands with it.
It happens sometimes. After paying for a meal, you accidentally leave your credit card at the restaurant, then go back the next day to pick it up. But one customer, dining with his family at the Maplewood Olive Garden, wasn’t so lucky. Maplewood police say his server, 18-year-old Jamon Anderson, snatched the card right off the table.
After stealing the customer’s credit card, police say the waiter went to the Walmart right across the parking lot, where he spent more than $800 on a pair of Beats headphones and a Playstation 4.
Police say Anderson ultimately racked up more than $3,000 on the victim’s card, including about $2,000 spent at a Bridgeton guitar shop.
Police finally spotted Anderson on surveillance, making fraudulent purchases, still wearing his Olive Garden uniform. “He even had the little name tag identifying him as the waiter,” adds Maplewood Detective Michael Gilb.
Anderson is now charged with credit card theft and fraudulent credit card use. According to Olive Garden spokesperson Hunter Robinson, the suspect even doctored the tip this customer left him, before stealing his card. Robinson states, “We have a zero tolerance policy for any criminal activity, including credit card fraud. The employee no longer works for Olive Garden.”
Even though this restaurant did its part, Tracy Hardgrove with the Better Business Bureau says credit card theft from restaurants is more common than you might think. She explains, "You might get the card back, but they've still got the number and expiration, and the tag number on the back. So they've got everything they need in their hands, to go ahead and charge something. They can charge so quickly, which is why you've really got to pay attention."
If your credit card is stolen, Hardgrove suggests immediately informing your bank, as well as a credit reporting agency. It’s also important to closely monitor your bank statements for several months after the theft, to ensure that fraudulent activities don’t continue.