Server charged in large ID theft scam

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) – Records show a former server who worked at Orange Beach restaurants was arrested and charged with 59 counts of identity theft, one count fraudulent use of a credit card, and one count third degree theft of property on Monday, November 25.

Orange Beach Police said Stephanie Marie Brown, 30, was manipulating tips as a server and taking money from unsuspecting customers between April and May.

Police said customers would not notice they were being over-billed until later receiving their credit card statements.

“Victims had contacted the restaurant and had complained to the restaurant about some charges on their credit card receipts were not authorized by them,” explained Greg Duck, Assistant Chief of Orange Beach Police.

Officials told FOX10 News she was a server at Hurricane Grill and Wings and also worked at Shipp’s Harbour Grill.

Managers at Hurricane Grill and Wings declined to talk on camera about Brown, but they did tell FOX10 she was a good employee; she just made some wrong decisions.

We also spoke with the owner of Shipp’s Harbour Grill who also declined to comment on camera, but told FOX10 that Brown stole some $500 from their cash register, and she had not padded any tips at their restaurant. They pressed the third degree theft of property charge against her.

Brown’s listed home address is an apartment in Fredricksburg, VA., but police said she was picked up in Pensacola, where she had been living.

She is being held on $5,000 bond for each identity theft charge and remains in the Baldwin County Jail, totaling to $301,000. Police said her case will go to a grand jury.

It is unclear how much money she stole during the scam.

In the meantime, Orange Beach police warn folks to stay aware of your credit.

“We just want people to understand that it can happen anywhere,” said Duck. “People really need to watch their bank accounts, and their credit card accounts on a daily basis. That helps law enforcement.”

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