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VSU students arrested

handcuffs Two VSU students were arrested Thursday, Oct. 22 for two counts of financial transaction card theft and 25 counts of financial transaction card fraud, according to the Valdosta State Police.
 Another VSU student was also arrested on a similar, but unrelated charge the following day.
 The first case involved students Cydney Hartfield and Sandra Wilson. On Oct 5, police alleged that Hartfield and Wilson stole a VSU 1Card from another student in Bailey Science Center and used it 13 times, with the last use at Langdale Market. The amount totaled $199.18,
 On Oct. 16, Hartfield and Wilson allegedly stole another 1Card from a student in Bailey Science Center and used it 12 times with the last one at Langdale Market. These transactions totaled $67.39 according to VSUPD.
 Hartfield and Wilson were charged with financial transaction card fraud every time the 1Cards were used. Each swipe of the card added an additional felony to the list said Major Ann Farmer.
 In the second case, Britany Y. Hall was arrested on Oct. 23 on one count of financial transaction card theft and one count of financial card fraud.
 All students arrested were taken to the Lowndes County jail, according to police.
 According to Farmer, some students will find a card lying around, pick it up and use it. In the first case, the cards were actually stolen and the students used the cards as fast as they could, police say.
   “Students either aren’t thinking or just think they won’t get caught,” Farmer said, “The problem students don’t grasp is that the 1Card is considered a credit card.”
 Picking up a card and swiping it at a Coke machine is considered a felony. It’s just like using someone’s Visa card and will be treated as such.  Those that steal and use 1Cards aren’t looking at a just slap on the wrist said Farmer.
   The punishment for financial transaction card theft is a fine no more than $1,000 and at least one but no more than two years in prison. The punishment for financial transaction card fraud is a fine no more than $5,000 and at least one but no more than three years in prison.
 The VSUPD is seeing an increase in 1Card theft.
 “Every semester at least two or three 1Cards are stolen and used; this semester there seems to be more than that,” Farmer said.�
 As the student population increases, the crime rates seem to increase, said Sergeant Matt Maestas.
 If a 1Card is missing, it’s better not to assume that you left it in your dorm room. Notify the 1Card office and the VSUPD as soon as it’s missing Farmer said.
 With their improved technology, the VSUPD can more easily track down offenders and make arrests, according to Farmer.
 These cases are still under investigation.

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