Optometrist eyes her patients' credit cards, and other unusual crimes

By , CardRatings contributor
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If you have trust issues, you probably shouldn't read our latest look at unusual credit card crimes. Honestly, in this month's column, nobody is safe. Everybody is out to get everybody.

Your eye doctor is out to get you

Most optometrists are probably as honest as the day is long. But Kristie Katkavich is not among them, according to the judge who recently sentenced her to a year in prison and three years of probation.

During the summer of 2010, some patients at the Eastern Eye Center in Willimantic, Conn., began calling the office shortly after their appointments to ask if anyone had found their wallets or credit cards, according to a report in The Hartford Courant. Office staff kept track of the calls and noticed that all the callers were Katkavich's patients.

Local police got involved after one of Katkavich's patients reported a stolen credit card, according to the news report. The patient said she lost her wallet after a trip to her optometrist's office.

So how did Katkavich do it? She took the credit cards after dilating the pupils of her patients.

You can't trust golfers either

Two "golfers" allegedly stole credit cards from locker rooms at various country clubs around New Jersey, according to a recent Patch.com report. They were successful for a while, but word got out about the thefts, as did descriptions of the two suspects, who were spotted by employees at the Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J. Local police first arrested Oscar Cabrera, 33, of Miami, and later caught up with Luis Paz, 34, also of Miami, in Queens, N.Y.

These men are believed to have committed similar crimes in Florida and South Carolina, according to Patch.com.

What's really interesting is how much thought the men put into these crimes. Cabrera dressed as a golfer, truly looking the part in a golf cap, spiked shoes and wearing a glove on one hand, according to the New York Post.

Paz acted as driver, apparently choosing this role because, at 450 pounds, he doesn't quite look the part of a man who frequents a golf course.

Not every sheriff is on the up and up

Former Minidoka, Idaho Sheriff Kevin Halverson recently pleaded guilty to using a county credit card to buy gas for personal use. Halverson evidently bought gas between November 2012 and January 2013, not for himself, but for a woman who worked for the county. When confronted about his unusually high bills, Halverson lied and said that he hadn't been the one to use the card. He'll be sentenced next month.

Even a hospice caregiver?

As regular readers of this column know, the occasional rogue hospice caregiver, out to steal a credit card, is fairly common. That said, in the annals of crime, stealing from a dying patient or a family member of one has to be, as thievery goes, among the lowest of the low.

Michelle Wilson, 54, and her daughter Shacollier Wilson, 33, both of Milwaukee, were charged with taking a debit and credit card of a woman whose husband received in-home hospice care, according to a Patch.com report. They are accused of using the cards for various transactions, including paying an electric bill and buying a video game system from Walmart (surely a reward for all of the hard work they went through in stealing the credit and debit card).

Shacollier learned that these days, you can't even trust your mother -- at least, not if she is the sort who steals credit cards. When police confronted Michelle, who had in her possession the stolen credit card numbers, she blamed Shacollier for the crime, saying her daughter was "dead to her."

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