UPDATED 7:35 p.m. Wednesday
CHAMPAIGN — Three Chicago men have been charged with a variety of offenses in connection with a credit card scam they allegedly tried in Champaign last week.
Champaign police arrested the trio on Dec. 30 in the parking lot of the Target Store, 2102 N. Prospect Ave., C, where they had allegedly used fictitious credit cards to buy electronic merchandise and gift cards.
Bobby Morton, 36, and Charles Tucker, 26, were charged with two counts of unlawful use of credit card and two counts of burglary, while co-defendant Derrick Boyd, 25, was charged with possession of a fictitious identification card, obstructing justice, and two counts of burglary.
A Champaign police report said officers were summoned to the Target store late Friday afternoon to investigate a suspicious credit card transaction.
A Target loss prevention employee had seen two men, later identified as Tucker and Morton, in the store about 4 p.m. Tucker allegedly tried to buy several gift cards with five different credit cards, all of which were declined. He left in a gold minivan.
About two hours later, Morton, Tucker and Boyd all returned to the store where Champaign police were waiting. When police stopped the van they were in, police smelled a strong odor of cannabis and Boyd admitted they had been smoking it earlier.
Police said Tucker first denied, then later admitted, that he had been trying to buy gift cards in Target earlier. He had three different cards in his name which police later figured out were fraudulent.
Morton had five credit cards in his name, that were also determined to be fake. He also had checks that police learned had been stolen as part of a car theft in Chicago, and a driver's license from Ohio.
Boyd admitted that he chewed and swallowed $10 worth of cannabis after police approached the van.
Police found several gift cards and electronic merchandise in the van that had come from Target and the nearby Walmart store at 2610 N. Prospect Ave., C.
Police learned from Walmart employees that Tucker and Morton had been in the store earlier that day. Tucker bought two Apple iPads worth $829 with a credit card. The first one he presented was declined but the second one worked.
Those cards were in his possession when police arrested him.
Morton allegedly tried to buy two iPads with two different credit cards, both of which were declined, and were also found on him when arrested.
The men also allegedly used the credit cards to buy $1,200 worth of gift cards at Walmart.
Police said Tucker admitted that he bought the credit cards, made out in his name, in Chicago for $500 and used them at the Champaign Target and Walmart.
All three men were told to be back in court Jan. 18 with their own attorneys. All three posted bond Tuesday and were released from the county jail.
Jail administrator Capt. Allen Jones confirmed that Tucker used a credit card to post his bond. Jones said Boyd and Morton both paid cash to post their bonds.