A WSU student was arrested Thursday for theft and forgery after allegedly using a stolen credit card at several local businesses. The arrest came after the police department issued a press release earlier that afternoon requesting public assistance in identifying the suspect.
The press release included photos and a description of the suspect, who was identified as Sarah Boyer, a 20-year-old Pullman resident and WSU student.
The three blurry security camera pictures showed a young female wearing a WSU sweatshirt making purchases at Panda Express and The Bookie. Boyer was described in the press release as being a college-aged, Caucasian female with dark brown hair and “a distinct ‘widows peak.’”
At 2:50 p.m., the press release was issued. By 4:40 p.m., Boyer was identified and arrested at her Pullman residence, according to the press release. She was later released, pending charges by the Whitman County prosecuting attorney.
Detective Mike Crow of the Pullman Police Department, who investigated the case and made the arrest, said they received a lot of responses from the public because of the press release and it helped lead to her arrest.
The case was opened on Oct. 8 by the victim after she had lost her purse and noticed two fraudulent charges made online at Walmart, Crow said.
Cases like this are not particularly common in Pullman. However, when it does happen, the police go straight to the businesses where the card was used, he said.
This arrest is unrelated to the hundreds of cases involving debit and credit card fraud the police department is currently investigating, Crow said. The difference between this case and the other cases is that the credit card was physically stolen and used in Pullman. In the other cases, the account information was likely stolen off a server, then the cards were reproduced and used outside Pullman.
“If you lose your cards, report it to the credit card company and to the police so this doesn’t happen,” Crow said.
Boyer is suspected of using a stolen credit card at four locations in Pullman and two businesses online during the past week, according to the police department’s press release.