Victim of credit card theft warns others to protect possessions

CONYERS — Despite taking what she believed to be proper precautions, one Conyers woman found herself the victim of credit card theft while eating at a local restaurant.

Gayle Keener said when she returned home after eating dinner Wednesday at O’Charley’s restaurant with friends and family, she received a call from her credit card company advising her that they had put a hold on her credit card after a number of transactions were attempted in a short period of time.

“I just want to warn people to be careful,” Keener said Thursday.

She said she had hung her pocketbook over the back of her chair in the restaurant and then placed her jacket on top of her purse. During the meal, two men and a pregnant woman asked to be seated at the table directly behind where Keener was sitting; however, the group never ordered anything to eat. Keener said she believes at some point someone in that group reached into her purse, pulled out her wallet, took her credit card and then replaced her wallet.

The three left the restaurant before Keener’s party finished their meal. Shortly afterward, $1,200 worth of merchandise was charged to Keener’s account at Walmart.

Keener said the thieves also went to Target and attempted to conduct a transaction at a service station before the credit card company locked her card.

“I thought my purse was safe because it was covered up, although I noticed when I reached for it as we were leaving that it was unzipped and I never leave it unzipped, “ she said. “Rockdale County citizens need to know this kind of thing is happening in our restaurants and women don’t need to hang their purses on the backs of their chairs.”

Upon learning her credit card had been stolen, Keener contacted the manager of O’Charley’s as well as the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office.

RCSO Investigator Michael Camp said the case has been assigned to an investigator.

“It is important to be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables in sight at all times,” he said.

Camp said because these kinds of thefts do occur, the Sheriff’s Office recommends people regularly check their credit scores to make sure they have not become a victim of identity theft.