In late July, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s patrol deputies received a report from a Buellton resident who reported that an unknown person had fraudulently used his credit card.
The victim said his credit card was used to obtain goods and services from businesses in Buellton and Lompoc. The victim also said that the person who opened the account used his Social Security number as a form of verification with the credit card company, when the card was activated in early July.
Information obtained from the credit card company regarding the card’s activity led sheriff’s detectives to a local gas station in Buellton, where surveillance footage was obtained, showing the suspects using the credit card.
Karen Peterson, 47, and Debra Mangino, 49, both of Buellton, were arrested Wednesday on charges of unauthorized use of an access card and commercial burglary. They were booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail with bail revoked because of a pending court case.
The suspects at one point were neighbors of the victim’s neighbors, and they are believed to have stolen the victim’s mail.
Sgt. Alex Tipolt is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.