An alleged credit card thief is in Hamilton County Jail after police received help from an unexpected source: his mom.
Cincinnati Police arrested James Barton, 23, in Westwood Tuesday evening after following his mother.
Barton is accused of stealing credit cards from medical facilities in Warren, Butler, Clinton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties and then using them to buy expensive electronics.
Numerous agencies, including Warren County, are preparing charges of forgery, misuse of a credit card, receiving stolen property and theft, said Warren County Sheriff’s Detective Susan Horne.
Sgt. Eric Vogelpohl of Cincinnati Police Department’s investigative unit said police received a tip through Tristate Crime Stoppers and began following Barton’s mother Tuesday afternoon.
Police followed her for about two hours as she made her way from her home in Mariemont to Westwood, where she picked up Barton, who she said wanted a ride to a motel.
“We got lucky and he was in the back of the car,” said Vogelpohl. “She had no idea, but she led us right to him.”
Vogelpohl said the mother has been cooperative and won’t be charged.
Investigators believe Barton is responsible for credit card thefts in Mason, Deerfield Township, West Chester, Kettering, Oxford and Milford.
In the most recent alleged thefts, the cards were stolen from unattended purses of patients as well as from employees of hospitals and medical facilities, said Horne.
Some of the thefts occurred in what are supposed to be secure areas of the facilities, she said. Barton is not believed to have a job that would give him special access in any of those places, said Horne.
Barton allegedly used the stolen cards to buy expensive electronics in big-box retail stores such as Walmart, Target and Meijer, Horne said.
Investigators believe Barton is responsible for four incidents in Warren County, including thefts from Springdale Mason Pediatrics in Mason. In Warren County, Barton will be charged with several counts of forgery, misuse of a credit card, receiving stolen property and theft.