A citizen of Australia was arrested last weekend following a series of purchases made on an allegedly stolen credit card totaling over $3,000 during a period of three days. He faces two felonies, of grand theft and of possession of a stolen financial transaction card.
Virgil Cedric Penalva, 27, was arrested Jan. 10 outside of Rickshaw restaurant in Ketchum after the alleged victim reported the stolen card to the Ketchum Police Department, a division of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office, on Jan. 2. The alleged victim said the card had been stolen and was being used to make purchases around Ketchum and Sun Valley, according to a probable-cause affidavit written by Blaine County Detective Kerri Taylor.
The card owner reported that the card had been issued to him by the property rental business he worked for and that he did not notice the fraudulent charges until he was reviewing a credit card statement and found multiple charges that were not initiated by him.
“[The alleged victim] stated all charges on the statement made from [Dec. 21-23] were not made by him,” the affidavit states.
The charges were made at multiple restaurants and ski equipment stores in Ketchum and Sun Valley and totaled $3,547.02.
Following an investigation, a waitress identified Penalva from having seen him at Rickshaw and called police the next time he was there, at which time he was arrested.
Penalva allegedly told police that he found the credit card on the counter at the house he was renting.
“He said he found the card and put it in his wallet but claimed he didn’t know it was someone else’s card,” the affidavit states.
In addition, he allegedly told police he no longer had the card and didn’t know where it was and said he would pay the victim back if he had the opportunity to.
Penalva is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 23, at which time the prosecution must present sufficient evidence for the case to proceed as a felony in District Court.