Woman Charged in Vernon for Credit Card Crimes

Furniture from Bob's was allegedly purchased via fraud, police said.

A woman was taken into custody by Vernon police on Friday for allegedly coming on down to a popular furniture store and buying stuff with a stolen credit card, police said.

Vernon police detectives on Friday arrested Celeste Harris, 31, of 172 Woodlawn Circle, East Hartford. Harris was taken into custody at 19 Acton Street in Hartford on warrants held by Vernon police, a news release indicates.
The arrest was made with the assistance of Hartford Police, according to the news release.

Harris’ arrest stems from an investigation that began in October over the fraudulent use of credit cards to buy furniture from Bob’s Discount Furniture, police said. The chain is based in Manchester. 

The investigation was led by Det. John Divenere of the Vernon Police Department. 

According to a police news release, the furniture was being delivered to an address on Park West Drive in Vernon. Vernon detectives executed search and seizure warrants in Vernon and East Hartford on Nov. 16 that resulted in the seizure of stolen furniture, stolen credit card numbers and other financial records relating to identity theft crimes, according to a news release. 

Vernon Police arrested Anna Hansley, 26, of 30 Park West Drive in Vernon on November 16 as part of the investigation.

Harris is alleged to have used stolen credit card numbers from individuals living in Maryland to make purchases in East Hartford and Vernon, police said. The purchases were first made in January 2012 and continued until the date of the search warrant, police said.

Harris was charged with: 

• Third-degree larceny.
• Credit card theft.
• Credit card fraud.
• Identity theft.
• Conspiracy to commit third-degree larceny. 

Harris was in custody locally on a $150,000 cash/surety bond on Friday night.

Additionally, Harris was charged with two counts of violating her probation, police said.

Each count had a $100,000 bond, for a total of $350,000, police said. 

If Harris does not post bond she will appear in Rockville Superior Court on February 19, 2013, police said.

The investigation was conducted jointly with the East Hartford Police.  Additional charges are likely, Vernon police said.


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