Unusual credit card theft: Overland Park grandma didn’t send flowers to these women, but got big bill

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- A 91-year-old great-grandmother is upset someone used her credit card information to rack up thousands of dollars in charges. Police hope surveillance pictures can lead to arrests.

This theft case is different than some you've heard about. Instead of going from store to store buying things, someone picked up the phone and placed orders in a place you probably wouldn't think of.

The Hy-Vee floral department was the target. Someone called in an order for flowers, then added a sizable Visa gift card to the bouquet and paid for it with the stolen card number. Then someone would simply walk in and pick up the order and walk out.

"I saw these charges that were not mine, and I called Olathe police," explained Vera Taylor.

Taylor lives in Olathe, but once investigators figured out many of the thefts happened at the Hy-Vee at 95th and Antioch, Overland Park police got involved.

"There were several thousand dollars racked up on her card in short amount of time before she could stop it," said Officer Gary Mason of the Overland Park Police Department.

Vera has no idea how someone got to her credit card number, and she still has the actual card.

"I didn’t really know how they accessed it, I never give my credit card to take to do something for me and I’m the only one that usually has access to it," explained Taylor.

It's concerning to her, but says thankfully the credit card company reversed the charges on her account. But that's not the end of it as far as she's concerned, she wants someone to pay.

"I didn’t want them to do it to someone else, they need to pay for their mistakes," said Taylor.

Hy-Vee released the surveillance pictures to police in hopes of identifying each of these women who walked out with flowers. The total of the bouquets was just over $100, but that was only one part of the ruse.

"The suspect with the stolen credit card numbers would call up and order flowers and then say in addition I want to give a gift card for $200-$300, and that would be added on there and they would give the credit card information," explained Ofc. Mason.

It was a different twist on a credit card theft, and one that surprised Vera.

"Very smart, if those crooks would use that intelligence for good they could be anything they wanted to be," said Taylor.

If you can identify anyone in the pictures, call Overland Park police or the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS.

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