Fast-food worker stole customers' credit card numbers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fast-food worker stole customers' credit card numbers

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THOMAS COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMAS COUNTY, GA (WALB) –A former fast food worker in Thomasville is charged with stealing customers' credit cards numbers.

What 19-year Briana Howell is accused of doing the information is what's really shocking people there.

Police say Howell gave the credit card numbers to a convicted murderer who is in prison.

We spoke to some Zaxby's customers, including one of identity theft victims.

As lunch time nears, cars pack the Zaxby's drive thru in Thomas County.

Just a week ago, Jake Parrott would have avoided coming here. He took a leave of absence when he suspected that an employee stole his credit card number.

"I had a random charge show up on my bank statement this month for some website," says Parrott. "I am usually very careful with my card number, I only shop on Amazon.com and iTunes, so the websites I shop on are very secure."

Parrott later found out that 19-year old Briana Howell was charged with stealing his credit card number, along with several others and passing the information to a convicted murderer serving time in a Georgia prison.

The news came as a shock to frequent Zaxby's customers.

"Wow," says a shocked Elaina Walker. "I wish I could meet that person and ask her why she would do something like that."

A Zaxby's manager wouldn't speak to us, but police say the fast-food store is cooperating fully to help victims. Investigators say the manager used store video to catch Howell using a customer's card to pay for her own food. As for the state prisoner, authorities say he used the numbers at the prison commissary and made other purchases online.

"It's kind of like identity theft," Walker says. "They should build more security for that purpose here and anywhere else really."

Now weary customers say they'll think twice about using their credit cards.

"Honestly, we thought this might be the best place to go eat because we figured that it would probably be the safest now," explains Parrott.

"Zaxby's is still one of my favorite places to go eat at," Walker says. "I'll just use cash instead of debit or credit."

A little inconvenience that may pay off.

Briana Howell is charged with multiple counts of credit card fraud. Other charges are pending.

Thomas County Sheriff's investigators urge recent customers at that Zaxby's to check their bank statements.

If you find an unauthorized charge, notify your bank and investigators.

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