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Cops and Courts

Avon woman accused of identity theft; police say waitress took pictures of credit cards

  • Blackburn-jpg-1

    Jamie Blackburn

    PHOTO PROVIDED

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ELYRIA — An Avon woman faces charges of identity theft after allegedly taking photos of customers’ credit cards while working as a waitress and then using the cards to make purchases.

Jamie Blackburn, 39, of Chester Road, has been charged with theft, taking identity, forgery and misuse of credit cards, according to Avon Lake Municipal Court records.

Last month, Avon police received a report that a man’s credit card had fraudulently been used to place a phone order at Master’s Pizza in Avon to order $61.41 worth of food. The pizza was then delivered to an apartment on Chester Road. A woman who said she was “Mary Blackburn” was recorded giving the stolen credit card number, three-digit security code and ZIP code, according to a search warrant recently unsealed in Lorain County Common Pleas Court.

On Nov. 1, police went to the apartment where the food had been delivered to speak with “Mary Blackburn.” Officers learned that Blackburn lived at the home and previously was arrested by Avon police on charges of shoplifting at Kohl’s Department Store.

The delivery driver from Master’s Pizza was able to identify Blackburn as the person whom he delivered the food to and who signed the credit card receipt for the order, the search warrant said.

Officers asked the alleged victim if he’d recently visited any restaurants where he’d given his credit card to a waiter or waitress. The man said he’d been to Just One More Bar and Grille in Avon Lake two days before the fraudulent charge was made to his card.

Police spoke with the owner of the Just One More, Joanne Detzel, who confirmed that Blackburn had been working that evening.

On Nov. 8, police went to Blackburn’s apartment with an arrest warrant. Officers asked Blackburn if she had a cell phone in her residence. Blackburn told officers her phone had been stolen, and the only cell phone in the apartment belonged to her 7-year-old son.

When the officer called the number that “had been associated with Jamie in the past” the cell phone lying on the coffee table began to ring with the officer’s phone number displayed on the screen.

Police believe Blackburn was “utilizing her cell phone to take pictures of customers’ credit cards while working at Just One More Bar and Grille in Avon Lake,” a search warrant said.

Avon police secured the warrant to search the phone for “text messages, phone calls, call logs, photographs, video and any electronic correspondence” that may be used as evidence that Blackburn used the phone to photograph customer credit cards.

A preliminary hearing on the matter is scheduled in Avon Lake Municipal Court on Dec. 11. Blackburn was released from Lorain County Jail last week after posting $5,000 bond, according to jail records.

Contact Scott Mahoney at (440) 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.
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