(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
Police in LaPorte are crediting the alertness of a store clerk to suspicious activity that led to the arrest of a Chicago man on Thursday for counterfeiting and drug possession. LaPorte Police report that a man, later identified as 45 year old Albert Grant, entered a BP station in LaPorte, purchased a carton of cigarettes using a prepaid gift card, and then asked to buy another carton. When the clerk asked for identification, the man changed his order, purchasing just two packs of cigarettes.
Police say later that day, the clerk happened to see Grant carrying a shopping bag full of cartons of cigarettes near the Family Express at 6th and J Street. The clerk stated she was aware of recent incidents where fraudulent credit cards had been used to purchase cartons of cigarettes and thought this might be suspicious and contacted police. Officers encountered the suspect near the entrance of K-Mart, in the 14-hundred block of State Road 2, who could not produce identification, and after searching his wallet, police reported finding three counterfeit one-hundred dollar bills. Officers searched Grant and allegedly found credit gift cards and a small baggy of white powder that tested positive for heroin. A search of the suspect's vehicle yielded 18 cartons of cigarettes. An investigation continues.