Cops nab woman in credit card caper | July 24, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Community Pulse - July 24, 2009

Cops nab woman in credit card caper

A Danville woman is facing burglary charges after using another person's credit card to make purchases at Lunardi's. Police Lt. Mark Williams said the credit card was first reported missing June 29.

The victim reported that he had left his card in a machine at the Kinko's Copy store on San Ramon Valley Boulevard. When he went back to retrieve it, it was gone. He called his company to report it missing and was informed that it had been used three times already, at Lunardi's. He then called police, who interviewed clerks at the store and were given a description of a female who'd made three purchases totaling nearly $600. One of the purchases was a $250 gift card.

The next day, an officer went back to the store to review surveillance videotapes and a clerk informed him that the woman had returned to the store after police left the previous day. She apparently tried to use the same credit card again but found it declined. After paying with another card for her purchases she left. The clerk followed her outside and got a description of the car and license plate.

Williams said the officer ran the plates and acquired an ID on the owner. He then used a photo from the Department of Motor Vehicles to create a photo lineup. Both clerks were able to pick out the suspect, identified as Joanna Villano, 42.

Police were called back to Lunardi's on July 14, when Villano returned and attempted to buy groceries using the previously purchased gift card. She admitted to police that she had taken the credit card and made the purchases, and claimed that it was because she had recently lost her job and was running out of money.

She was taken into custody and charged with one count of commercial burglary.

--Geoff Gillette