Police wrap up tinfoil bandits
NEWVILLE First, they are suspected of climbing on the Newville gas station's roof and covering a satellite dish with tinfoil to disable the credit card system.
Then they are accused of using credit cards to buy beer, cigarettes and soda.
The credit cards seemed to be working, but they weren't being charged because transaction information wasn't transmitting.
If it wasn't for an alert clerk, they might have gotten away with it.
Instead, the tinfoil bandits were arrested in a scheme that has spread from northern Illinois, to Beloit, to Janesville, to Edgerton, to Wisconsin Dells.
Akeem M. Williams, 21, Beloit; Gregoran P. Mosley, 21, South Holland, Ill.; and Kwamesha M. Milsap, 20, Beloit, were arrested on charges of financial card crimes and theft in the Newville incident.
They remain under investigation in other cases, Rock County Sheriff's Capt. Todd Christiansen said.
The scheme allows perpetrators to buy items and leave the store with receipts, he said. The transactions aren't denied until the tinfoil is removed.
"Being able to disable the credit card system is kind of interesting," Christiansen said. "It's new to this area, but it has been happening in larger cities."
Deputies went to Carl's Shell in Newville at 11:54 p.m. Monday after three people made nine different trips into the store to buy various items with credit cards, he said.
The clerk noticed the state lottery machine and other machines were offline and not working, Christiansen said.
The clerk suspected something suspicious and provided law enforcement with a description of the suspects and their vehicle, he said.
A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper later stopped a vehicle traveling south on Interstate 90/39, Christiansen said.
Investigators found tinfoil, credit card receipts and items from Carl's Shell inside the vehicle, he said. Items from other businesses also were found.