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Help ID child-toting credit card fraud suspects

It could happen to any of us: We get distracted and drop or lose our wallet somehow. It happened to me last month, but fortunately a Good Samaritan returned it to the lost and found.

That’s what should have happened in this case that Auburn Police need your help to solve. Detectives say this couple with the child went on a shopping spree with a woman’s credit card while the victim who’d lost her wallet was still in the same mall.

“I might have had my wallet here on my lap and when I got out I think it maybe just fell out and then I didn`t notice and someone picked it up and started spending on all my cards, said victim, Keonna Rainwater. She was looking forward to a nice evening shopping with her little niece at The Outlet Collection in Auburn late last month. Then, she started getting alerts on her phone that her credit card was being used at numerous stores at that same mall. She raced to the last one on the list. “I went up to the manager and said, `Did you just have a large purchase?` They said, `Yes. The people just left. Let me pull up their picture off the security camera,` so they printed that out and then we were trying to find them in the mall.”

Auburn Police confirm the two people in the still photos are suspects and all told, the couple charged $2,500 at five or six stores.

Keonna posted the surveillance images on Facebook and got some potential leads, but police need more help. “We`re looking to identify them. We have some names to go on, we`re looking for as much information as possible, because we need to talk to them,” said Auburn Police Cmdr. Mark Caillier.

He cautions people about posting surveillance photos and images on Facebook before police can investigate. “The bad part is if you`re putting it up there and it`s not the right people, names will start getting thrown out on social media and you just have to be careful that you`re not mis-identifying somebody and accusing them of doing something, of which, if it turns out not to be those persons."

Police say there is no question about whether they are the ones who used the card, but if they were the ones who found they wallet, they should have turned it in to a business or police. It's not ‘finders keepers’, it's fraud to use the cards.

“What was going to be just a fun day with my niece turned into kind of a stressful day, trying to cancel all my credit cards at once, looking for the people who were doing this to me and kind of ruined our day,” said Rainwater.

She doesn't have any ill-will towards them, but is hoping they find redemption for the sake of their child. “It makes me feel bad for the little girl, even though I`m sure she had no idea what was going on, but it looks like they purchased a whole bunch of things for their daughter, so I know they care about their daughter, but hopefully by the time she gets to an age where she does realize things going on, they can just stop this kind of lifestyle, because it hurts people, it hurts families and it will end up hurting that little girl too."

If you have any information that will help Auburn Police locate the suspects, submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers by using the P3 Tips App on your phone, or you can call 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).

There is a  cash reward of up to $1,000 for any information that leads to an arrest in the case.

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