Crime

Police: Women targeted State College banks in cash advance scheme

Police have arrested one woman and are searching for another in an apparent cash advance fraud scheme that targeted State College-area banks

State police said Jocelyn M. Wilson, 21, of California, was charged after getting a $5,000 cash advance from Citizens Bank on West College Avenue on Aug. 2 and attempting to get more money from a nearby Northwest Savings Bank.

Wilson allegedly convinced a teller to give her the cash advance using a stolen credit card, even though the card was declined, by providing a telephone number so the teller could call Wilson’s bank for verification.

The number was fictitious and the person on the other end was not a banker, police said.

Wilson was using a fake name that matched the owner of the credit card. Police said the owner of the card had her credit card, Social Security card and birth certificate stolen in March in California.

Court documents show Wilson has been charged with felony counts of identify theft, theft by deception and accessing a device issued to another person.

She remains in the Centre County Correctional Facility on $75,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Charges against Wilson were also filed by the Montoursville Police Department in an alleged cash-advance scheme there on Aug. 1.

Police are searching for an additional suspect, described as a stocky white or Hispanic woman, who was able to complete a cash advance at First National Bank of Pennsylvania on Elmwood Street in College Township. That theft was reported Aug. 2.

The woman has multiple tattoos, including a likeness of Marilyn Monroe’s face on her left forearm, a dark-haired woman on her right forearm, and a necklace around her neck and on her chest.

She is described as 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall.

Police said the most recent activity on the stolen card the woman was using happened Tuesday in the Columbus, Ohio, area.

Police said the woman might be driving a 2013 dark gray Chevrolet Equinox with Pennsylvania registration JGW7467, which was rented at the Pittsburgh International Airport using the same stolen credit card used by the unidentified suspect in the Centre County incidents.

Wilson and the unidentified woman are suspected of hitting banks in Lycoming and Clinton counties on Aug. 1.

Anyone with information can contact State College police at 234-7150 or submit an anonymous tip online.

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