Suspects arrested for allegedly stealing credit cards

Arraignment scheduled Friday in Clallam County Superior Court

PORT ANGELES — Two suspects have been arrested for allegedly using stolen credit cards to purchase more than $2,600 in gift cards, the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office said.

Toby A. Berger, 38, of Sequim, and Jessica R. McFarland, 35, of Port Angeles each were booked into the Clallam County jail Friday for investigation of second-degree theft, Sheriff’s Sgt. Amy Bundy said.

Deputies alleged in court papers that Berger had taken a wallet from a man at a Port Angeles auto repair store and that he and McFarland used credit cards from the wallet to purchase gift cards from the Safeway east of Port Angeles.

Sgt. Eric Morris said Berger and McFarland purchased pre-paid Visa cards and gift cards from Applebee’s, Subway, Domino’s Pizza and Dairy Queen, according to the affidavit for probable cause.

Bundy said the alleged victim monitored his bank account and relayed the fraudulent transactions to deputies in real time.

Berger and McFarland were identified on video surveillance from the Safeway store east of the city, Bundy said.

They had purchased $2,600 worth in pre-paid Visa cards, an Amazon card and various gift cards, Bundy said.

“While deputies were investigating the theft, a citizen reported seeing the suspects throw the victim’s wallet out of a car,” Bundy said in a news release.

“Deputies retrieved the wallet and returned it to the victim, but the credit cards had been removed.”

Berger and McFarland were arrested in the Sequim area at about 8:10 p.m. Friday.

All but one of the gift cards purchased with the stolen credit cards were recovered, Bundy said.

“Both suspects confessed to having committed the crimes and were booked into Clallam County jail,” Bundy said.

“This investigation is ongoing and more criminal charges are likely to follow.”

Berger and McFarland each were released from jail on their personal recognizance Monday.

Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols had requested $2,500 bail in each case.

Superior Court Judge Brian Coughenour scheduled arraignments in both cases for 9 a.m. Friday.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].

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