ELKO – An Elko man charged with using stolen credit cards in November 2017 told police he was homeless and was rewarded with a pair of pants and some boots for doing it.
George A. Smith, 28, of Elko was arrested Thursday at Elko County Jail on a felony warrant for two counts of burglary and two counts of obtaining or possessing a credit or debit card without the owner’s consent.
Smith told police he got the cards from someone at a house on Laurel Drive, according to court records. That house was the scene of a major drug bust the following month.
The cards were reported missing by a woman living on Sierra Drive. She reported her purse had been stolen after she found out from her bank that her credit cards were used to make purchases at Big 5 Sporting Goods and JC Penney.
Police said they recognized Smith from video surveillance at Big 5, but there was no video surveillance from Penney’s.
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Police asked Smith if he stole the cards. He reportedly told them that they came from someone at 150 Laurel Drive. He said he used the cards “at the request of several people” with a connection to the residence, and he received pants and boots for his effort.
Smith told police he was homeless at the time, according to a detective’s report.
Elko police detectives and patrol officers, along with the Elko Combined Narcotics Unit and SWAT team, served a search warrant at the home on Dec. 20, 2017.
Nine Elko residents were arrested. Drugs including meth and heroin were confiscated, along with a stolen firearm and drug paraphernalia.
Smith would not tell police who gave him the cards because he feared retribution, according to the detective’s report.
The complaint against Smith was filed in April 2018.
He is also charged with obtaining or using another person’s identification for harmful or unlawful purposes, and two counts of failure to appear after bail on a misdemeanor crime. His bail was listed at $85,760.