CURWENSVILLE – A Curwensville man has been accused of stealing more than $4,000 from his girlfriend’s mother.
Philip Roy Shape II, 23, has been charged by Chief Mark Kelly of the Curwensville Borough police with five felony counts of access device issued to another who didn’t authorize use; 13 misdemeanor counts of access device issued to another who didn’t authorize use; nine counts of possessing access device knowing counterfeit/altered; and a felony count each of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.
Shape waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail. His bail has been set at $10,000 unsecured.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, a preliminary theft investigation was initiated by a Clearfield Borough officer who received a report from the victim. She had come into the station and provided bank statements with highlighted transactions.
She explained that she neither shops online nor owns a computer. She pointed out a transaction from Auto Zone and indicated she has a mechanic who performs her vehicle maintenance work.
The Clearfield officer asked the victim how much she typically withdraws from her account. She said $20 with exception to two larger withdrawals she made in November of 2017 for Christmas shopping.
The victim also said a bank employee had watched surveillance footage of withdrawals made in November of 2017 and indicated that it wasn’t her.
She suspected that it was her daughter or her daughter’s boyfriend, Shape, who live with her. She said perhaps she gave them her card to use just before the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Clearfield Borough officer forwarded the information to Kelly on Jan. 11. The next day, he received video from the victim’s bank and observed a male accessing its ATM in Clearfield. The male was later identified as Shape through his Pennsylvania driver’s license information.
On Jan. 30, Kelly presented a search warrant to obtain video surveillance of a different ATM in Curwensville. He observed the same male, who was viewed in the previous surveillance video, and again identified him as Shape.
Kelly also contacted Auto Zone of Clearfield, which was a location that the victim’s debit/credit card had been used at. An employee said the transaction was made online, but items must be picked up in the store.
The employee explained the store policy is for the clerk who handles the online purchase to verify the person for identification purposes. The clerk, for this particular transaction, was not available at the time Kelly was on the phone.
It was found a “hub assembly” was purchased online by “Philip Shape,” because he utilized his e-mail address and cell phone number. Kelly requested for a copy of the receipt and other supporting documentation.
According to the affidavit, the receipt showed an online transaction in the amount of $127.19 on Nov. 9, 2017 using the victim’s debit/credit card.
On Feb. 1, the store manager indicated to Kelly the part worked in several GM vehicles, most notably a GMC Sierra 1500, which Shape currently owns and operates.
Kelly served a second search warrant to obtain surveillance of the ATM in Curwensville. The video showed Shape making withdrawals on five different dates between Nov. 22 and Dec. 7, and each withdrawal was for $503 for a total of $2,515.
On April 20, Kelly interviewed the victim and asked how Shape would have obtained her pin number for her debit/credit card and she didn’t know. She said she didn’t give her pin to Shape or to anyone else.
On May 31, Kelly conducted a formal interview with Shape. Shape said: “I’m not gonna lie. I did use the card, but I had permission to use her card.” He was told if he had permission, they wouldn’t be conducting an interview.
Kelly advised him the bank was out of $4,029.03 because it had reimbursed the victim the total amount, as it was alerted to the fraudulent activity.
When he was presented with financial records of purchases, Shape said he did buy items for his truck through Amazon but claimed he had paid the victim back. Kelly told Shape he would give him a few days to come up with that proof.
Shape then allegedly admitted to using the victim’s debit/credit card at all the locations. He asked Kelly what the nature of the charges would be and he was told more than likely access device fraud, theft and receiving stolen property.
Shape said he did use the card and Kelly said he would give him a few days in case he felt some of the items weren’t withdrawn by him. He then commented, “no sense in lying, I used the card.”
Shape allegedly made seven Amazon purchases totaling $570.54 and an Auto Zone purchase totaling $127.19 in November of 2017; five ATM withdrawals in Curwensville totaling $2,515 in November and December of 2017; two ATM withdrawals in Clearfield totaling $400 in November of 2017; and two Snappy’s Convenience Store purchases totaling $404.50 in November of 2017; plus, there were ATM service charges totaling $11.80.
The total restitution owed is $4,029.03, according to the affidavit.