Police search for credit card theft suspect

Warning students, schools and businesses to lock up

ABINGDON, Virginia - Police are asking the community for help in finding a suspect they say stole credit cards from a college campus.

The Virginia Highlands Community College Police Department and Abingdon Police Department are looking for a black male, about 5'10" and 280-300 pounds they say went into several campus buildings looking for unlocked offices on Friday, September 7. "Finally he found one, slipped in, pulled a desk drawer, got the lady's wallet out of the purse and took the credit cards," VHCC Police Chief Blake Adnis. "This guy is a professional and needs to be taken off the street."

Police said the man stole credit cards and made unauthorized purchases. "Usually we don't have anything like that on campus, some petty stuff, but nothing like that, especially in offices," said VHCC student Dexter Minton.

Surveillance video caught the suspect on camera in several areas around campus (pictured at left).

Students on campus said because it's a community college, it's not unusual for people of all ages to be in and out of buildings, which is why most of them didn't notice the suspect. "You see so many different kinds of people around campus; I wouldn't have expected anything like that," said VHCC student Erika Cashwell.

"I'm definitely more aware of my surroundings and things that may stick out that usually aren't here," said VHCC student John Potter.

Police are warning students, schools and other businesses in the area to beware. "I would encourage not only the college, but also businesses to secure offices and belongings in locked drawer," Adnis said.

"I try to track my belongings a little bit more. Make sure if they're not on me that they're locked up," Potter added.

Police have received several tips about the suspect and his vehicle: a 2000s-model dark green Nissan Pathfinder with a luggage rack and Washington Redskins tag on the front.

Adnis believes this is the same suspect who stole credit cards using the same method at the Higher Education Center just three months ago.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Chief Adnis at (276) 614-8282 or Detective Jason Austin at (276) 628-3111.

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