PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — A Port Charlotte man spent Halloween behind bars after he fraudulently used a coworker’s credit card to purchase several items, including a pumpkin he carved and put in front of his home for the spooky season.
On October 29, Charlotte County detectives responded to the Chili’s Grill & Bar at 1471 Tamiami Trail for reports of theft and fraudulent use of an employee’s credit card.
According to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, the employee told detectives she believed she had dropped her wallet in the parking lot of work one day and couldn’t find it after searching for it. When she checked her bank statement, she noticed numerous charges that she had not made during the time that the wallet was missing.
Detectives used the times that the purchases were made to obtain security footage from the businesses. In each video, they saw 39-year-old Edward Atwood, sporting his Chili’s baseball cap and using his coworker’s credit card for purchases. In one of the videos, he was seen purchasing a case of beer and a pumpkin.
When deputies went to Atwood’s home to speak to him, they noticed a freshly-carved pumpkin sitting in the driveway. The homeowner told deputies had bought the pumpkin on Saturday, matching the timeline of video footage and fraudulent purchases.
Atwood arrived at his home shortly after and spoke with deputies. They found the victim’s credit cards, driver’s license and other various cards — all in his wallet. The pumpkin was also collected as evidence.
Atwood faces numerous charges, including fraud, theft and driving without a license. He was taken to the Charlotte County Jail but has since bonded out.