Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic Among $6,000 In Fraudulent Purchases

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A California woman is behind bars in Washington County after police say she went on a spending spree of more than $6,000 after stealing credit cards from various locations in Northwest Arkansas and at the University of Arkansas.

Sara Erbe, 39, of Woodland, Calif., was arrested Friday on suspicion of forgery, theft by receiving, fraudulent use of a credit card and failure to appear. She remained Saturday in the Washington County Detention Center on $108,270 bond, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Fayetteville police and University of Arkansas police detectives began investigating a case of a stolen credit card in June 2012, in which surveillance video showed Erbe and an alleged accomplice using the credit card at a local Best Buy store and a Walgreens, according to an arrest warrant affidavit filed in Washington County Circuit Court.

Police were also investigating similar fraudulent purchases at other businesses. During the investigation, detectives discovered Erbe had allegedly used a woman’s stolen cards at Liberty Bank, Murphy’s, Walmart, Bank of America, Victoria’s Secret and Banana Republic.

A month later, detectives responded to Monroe Boutique on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, where an employee told police a woman came into the business and tried to purchase $321.20 with a fraudulent check. Police believe the woman was Erbe because the employee recognized the suspect in a photograph lineup, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Another woman told police someone had broken into her vehicle and stolen her wallet. Her credit card accounts showed purchases of more than $600 at Private Gallery and more than $800 at two different Walgreens stores after the theft, the affidavit states.

Yet another woman reported to officers that her purse was stolen from her vehicle at Powerhouse Fitness. The cards were later fraudulently used at several local locations, including at a Target and a Walgreens.

Erbe was later located in a stolen vehicle, although an unidentified white male successfully fled the scene, police said.

Erbe has an arraignment date set for Dec. 9 in Washington County Circuit Court, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

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