ANCHORAGE (AP) An Anchorage woman is accused in a string of health-club thefts and credit card fraud going back two years.
Tamika Safiya Knox, 29, is charged with theft, scheming to defraud and 19 counts of fraudulent use of an access device, or credit card.
Knox used bolt cutters to snip locks, stole purses and remote vehicle starters, and used stolen credit cards to purchase jewelry, clothes, DVDs, toys, a video camera and merchant gift cards from Carrs, Wal-Mart and other local stores, according to a criminal complaint filed in Anchorage District Court.
Knox was in custody Monday at Hiland Mountain/Meadow Creek Correctional Center. Her bail is set at $50,000.
She has been charged with scheming to defraud, second-degree theft and 19 counts of fraudulent use of an access device, or credit card.
She had this thing down,'' police spokeswoman Anita Shell told the Anchorage Daily News. She went to great strides to steal stuff.''
Since March 24, 2001, Knox victimized seven women and 13 banks and credit card companies, the complaint says. Losses to the banks and companies amounted to $12,400.
During that time, Anchorage police had been getting reports that women's purses and wallets were being stolen from local businesses, primarily health and athletic clubs, according to the court papers and an affidavit by Anchorage Detective Michele Logan. Credit cards in the handbags then would be used to buy merchandise.
Knox's basic scheme was to wait until the victim left the locker room of the clubs, then either enter the unlocked locker and steal the purse or the car keys, or in the case of a locked and secure locker, cut the lock with a bolt cutter,'' Logan says in the complaint.
Police searched Knox's home in April. According to the complaint, police found two 14-inch bolt cutters and many of the stolen items as well as two distinctive overcoats that she was seen wearing in surveillance videos taken by the stores and the Alaska Club on the dates the thefts occurred.
The complaint was filed Wednesday and Knox was arrested Thursday, according to Shell.
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