A man who found a credit card in a parking lot and then used it at different businesses was sentenced on Monday for four charges of obtaining property by deception.

Ruel Dervin Brown, 46, admitted obtaining goods by falsely representing that he was authorized to use someone else’s credit card. He used the card at Cox Lumber, Kirk Home Centre and A. L. Thompson’s to buy mostly power tools and at Reflections to buy cigarettes and grocery items.

The purchases, with a total value of $2,825.85, were made on April 16, 2016.
Crown counsel Nicole Petit told Magistrate Valdis Foldats that a local bank received a report of the unauthorized purchases. Inquiries were conducted and copies of receipts were collected.

Three of the locations provided CCTV footage based on the times stamped on the receipts. The CCTVs showed Mr. Brown, who was identified by a police officer after a photo from the CCTV was circulated within the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

Brown surrendered himself to a police station, accompanied by his attorney. He initially gave a “no comment” interview, but later provided a statement in which he admitted the offenses.

Ms. Petit said the tools were returned to the stores, but the credit card holder seemed to have suffered a loss of $720.

Defense attorney Dennis Brady said Brown was ashamed and embarrassed. “He went off on a path he never went on before,” Mr. Brady told the court. “He went and got the items and returned them to police …. This was a one-off stupid decision,” he said.

The magistrate checked through the file and noted that Reflections and A. L. Thompson’s also had lost in the transactions.

He ordered Brown to perform 40 hours of community service for each offense – a total of 160 hours. He also ordered compensation to be paid: $720.72 to the credit card holder; $173.18 to Reflections; and $26.92 to A. L. Thompson’s.

The total value of the items obtained was $2,825.85.

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