If someone is caught stealing a credit card, how long should they go to prison?
Ponder that, knowing that at least one judge thinks this crime is worth 189 years behind bars.
That was the sentence given to Recep Çetinkaya, a Turkish man who stole quite a few credit cards from business people and then used the money to buy phone credit, as part of his business, according to todayszaman.com, a website covering Turkish news.
To the man's credit, he apologized profusely to the court -- and had a ready explanation. Çetinkaya, who left his wife and has 10 kids, committed his crime "to get out of my troubles," he told the court, and noted that part of the reason he had money problems was because someone had defrauded him. This is probably a perfect example of why two wrongs don't make a right.
The web report noted that, in reality, Çetinkaya will most likely end up serving 28 years in jail, which is still a loooong chunk o' time.
Crooks steal from an old lady
Plenty of credit card crooks seem to have lines that they'll not cross. You'd think ripping off a 95-year-old woman at a gas station might be one of those lines.
In Sevierville, Tenn., police are searching for two men who charged hundreds of dollars in purchases to a 95-year-old woman's credit card. They also made off with her jewelry and medication.
"They were just nice people wanting to help me, and I was stupid enough to fall for it," explained Faye Francis, who spoke to the local ABC affiliate, WATE-TV.
Francis was pumping her own gas when the men saw that she was having trouble swiping her credit card. One of the guys asked if she needed help. Francis said she didn't think so, but he apparently insisted, swiped the card, and she was able to get her gas. That was nice, of course, and they were so nice, in fact, Francis ended up giving the men her card and personal information so they could run an errand for her. In addition to picking up a gift card Francis needed, they also used her credit card to buy themselves quite a few gift cards. Then they met Francis at her house, combing the place before they left.
Salvation Army volunteer takes cash, credit card
Joe Horton, 52, of Chicago, allegedly helped himself to more than $1,000 in donations -- given to help the needy -- while volunteering as a Salvation Army bell ringer at a Naperville, Ill., supermarket.
He might have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for a shopper losing her wallet at the store. Horton apparently found it and tried to use one of her missing credit cards; police, however, later caught up with him.
Bride uses stolen credit cards to pay for her wedding
La Reese Michelle Darville admitted to police that she spent $50,000 on her wedding -- and about $40,000 of that amount was on credit cards belonging to the owners of a pawn shop in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where she is -- or was? -- business manager.
Darville has told the media that she hasn't done anything wrong, that this sort of thing is done all the time, and has paid some of the money back already.
Hopefully the judge and Darville will get all of this straightened out. But she probably won't find too much sympathy from her family, I'm guessing. Her father is one of the owners of the pawn store.