Hookers fly for free on Action News 5 staffer's stolen account - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Hookers fly for free on Action News 5 staffer's stolen account

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - An Action News 5 staffer had to act quickly when he noticed charges totaling nearly $2000 made with his debit card to United Airlines late last week.

Action News 5 at 10pm producer said he knew something was wrong last Friday when he noticed charges totaling nearly $2000 made with his debit card to United Airlines.

"It was almost the exact amount I had in my checking account," Edwards said, "and I was completely shocked when I saw that."

Edwards was more surprised when he discovered who was flying from Washington D.C. to Oakland, California on his dime.

"It was three prostitutes!" he said.

With help from the airline, Edwards found out four tickets had been purchased by someone calling from a number registered to a Washington-area escort service.

Hopeful detectives in California could lend a hand, Edwards contacted police at the Oakland International Airport.  They actually confronted the passengers when they exited the plane.  One admitted to using a fake passport, and all admitted they were prostitutes.

"They had been flown by their pimp in San Francisco from Washington D.C. to Oakland," Edwards said.

Investigators believe the pimp purchased Edwards' debit card number on an illegal web-site in order to fly his hookers home.

"This is absolutely one of the craziest stories, obviously, of my life," Edwards said.

But, his crazy story ended in a way much different from many of those that end up on the news.

"Identity theft happens everyday, and it's very rare for someone to actually catch the people who committed the crime," Edwards said.

Fortunately, Edwards' bank reimbursed him for the amount stolen from his account.  Detectives are still trying to determine exactly who booked the flights for those hookers.  Meanwhile, Memphis Police are investigating who may have placed Edwards' debit card number up for sale in the first place.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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