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Customers of Chinese restaurant warned to watch credit statements

Feb. 21, 2012

Customers of China East should check their financial accounts for fraudulent purchases, police say. An employee has been arrested for identity theft for allegedly making online purchases using customers' credit card numbers.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

A resident of the 7300 block of Saint James Street heard his dog bark so he looked out the window of his home and saw an unfamiliar Asian female looking in his mailbox and opening his door at 3:15 p.m. Feb. 10.

The suspicious activity came during a week when he had received three packages in the mail that were addressed to his address but not his name. He hadn't order the products, which were body piercing supplies.

He got into his car and went looking for the girl, who he found walking behind the strip mall at 68th and State streets, where China East restaurant is located. He identified one of the employees, a 17-year-old girl, as the female who had been prowling around his home.

Police were able to find a woman whose name was printed on one of the packages delivered to the home. She said she was a customer of the eatery, and that the debit card she had used for her last purchase at China East had been used to make unauthorized purchases.

The 17-year-old girl was arrested for identity theft and police may pursue additional charges when the case goes to the district attorney March 15. The customer's financial information was found written on a paper in her backpack. The employee estimated she had made 10 purchases since January using customers' credit and debit card numbers. She had had packages delivered to nearby homes where she could check the mailboxes.

The restaurant owner couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

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