Southaven tire store manager busts up credit card theft ring

By Chip Washington - bio | email

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC-TV) - Police are crediting the manager of a Southaven tire business with busting up a string of credit card thefts across the Mid-South.

According to police, when two men suspected of credit card fraud entered Mathis Tire in Southaven last Wednesday, officers were waiting.

"They came by and waited off to the side for the individuals to show up and purchase the tires," store manager Burt Wright said. "When they did, they were apprehended and taken into custody."

The men allegedly bought eight tires from Mathis over the phone using a stolen credit card number. Wright said called police after receiving a tip from the general manager of a sister store in Memphis, who said the two suspects struck his location just two weeks earlier.

What was strange, according to Wright, was the type of tire they ordered.

"It was an odd fitment, 295/50 R15," Wright said. "Not a lot of vehicles take that. That's what our warehouse manager noted."

Police arrested and charged Artis Hickman and Chastie Brown with credit card fraud and conspiracy to commit a crime.  Southaven Police Lt. Mark Little said the suspects purchased between 32 and 40 tires in the past few weeks with several different stolen card numbers.

Little credited Wright's quick thinking to end the crime spree.    

"We give them credit for that," he said. "They had knowledge that these persons had done fraudulent activities before, called it to our attention, and we were able to make an arrest."

Hickman and Brown are being held in the DeSoto County jail on $10,000 bond each.

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