BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A man has been arrested for allegedly stealing a debit card from the mailbox of a vacant house undergoing repairs from the August 2016 flooding.
The victim advised the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office that she never received her new debit card and realized it was sent to her old address, which was vacant due to being repaired from the flooding. The victim also discovered $2,821.69 worth of fraudulent charges and withdrawals had been made.
Matthew Abrams, 34, was arrested Friday, February 17 after EBRSO received numerous Crime Stoppers tips from residents. Deputies were able to speak with family members of Abrams, who were able to identify him from the footage at the bank's ATM. Deputies also advised family members to urge him to turn himself in.
On February 17, Abrams did in fact call the Sheriff's Office to turn himself in. Deputies arrived at his home and took him into custody. The report states Abrams admitted to doing construction work in the area around the victim's home and finding mail on the ground. He says he found an envelope with the debit card in it, and another envelope that contained the PIN. Abrams admitted to using the card fraudulently, but said he only remembered making $1,500 worth of charges. Abrams also reportedly stated he has a meth addiction and that's why he committed the crime.
According to the report, the debit card was stolen from a mailbox in the 15000 block of Woodlore Dr. on January 18.
Officials say a white male, later identified as Abrams, in a black Chevy Silverado was photographed making withdrawals using the victim's debit card at the Whitney Bank on Sherwood Forest Blvd.
Abrams is charged with felony access device fraud and theft.