Howard County Times
Howard County

Facebook tip leads to charges for fraud suspects

Two people have been charged with multiple counts of credit card fraud and theft following a tip made via the Howard County Police Department's Facebook page.

According to a police press release, Stephanie Nicole Stuart, 25, of Essex, and Craig Kenneth England, 40, of Catonsville, were charged last week in connection with an investigation into the theft of two credit cards on Feb. 8 from an employee's purse inside The Charter Professional Building, in the 10700 block of Charter Drive, in Columbia.


Police said the cards were later used by Stuart and England that same day at several stores in the Columbia and Ellicott City areas, including Target, Kohl's, Lowe's, Office Depot, Advance Auto Parts, and Game Stop, resulting in more than $3,000 worth of purchases.

Surveillance video at many of the locations allegedly shows Stuart and England using the stolen cards.


Photos made from these videos were placed on the Police Department's Facebook page, where a follower saw the photos and tipped off police.

Stuart has been charged with eight counts of theft, one county of conspiracy to commit theft, and six counts of credit card fraud. England faces eight counts of theft, one count of conspiracy to commit theft, and four counts of credit card fraud.

Stuart and England were not arrested. According to police, they were charged by criminal summons on March 21, a decision that was made by the court commissioner.