An alert store employee provided police with information needed to identify a man who stole more than $600 in gift cards and merchandise from another store.
An employee of a local pharmacy notified police after three young men came into the store and used multiple credit or debit cards to buy gift cards. She thought it was suspicious that they used several different cards to pay, and copied down the Michigan license number of the car in which they left.
Officers were called to Michael’s Thursday when an employee reported that three young men tried to buy gift cards with a Visa Debit card that had no money on it. She said after the cards were activated, they fled with the cards and several other items.
Officers Steve Thompson and Bryce Stewart began investigating and determined the three were the same people who made the previous purchases at the pharmacy. They identified one as the owner of the car for which the pharmacy employee had provided the license number.
A warrant was obtained charging that man, Darren D. Johnson Jr., 20, of Pontiac, Michigan, with felony theft. Authorities in Pontiac arrested him Saturday and he is jailed there, awaiting extradition to Kentucky. Paducah police have not yet identified the two men with him.
Anyone with information about their identities is asked to call the Paducah Police Department at 270-444-8550. Information also may be provided anonymously through West Kentucky Crime Stoppers by texting WKY and the tip to 847411 (TIP-411).
Tipsters also may access the online tip form through the city of Paducah website at paducahky.gov/west-ky-crime-stoppers. Information leading to an arrest or indictment may result in a reward of up to $1,000.