Man Used Dead Person's Name to Charge $100K at Jewelry Stores: Police

Connecticut police have arrested a man accused of using a dead person’s credit card and identification to purchase more than $100,000 worth of jewelry from stores around the state.

Wallingford police began investigating on May 16 after receiving reports of several transactions made at local jewelry stores using a deceased person's credit card.  According to police, the man making the purchases was also using a fake identification card in the name of the dead person.

A Wallingford police officer was on patrol Monday when he saw a man who matched surveillance photos and descriptions of the suspect.  The man gave the officer a false name and police said upon further investigation, the dead person's credit card and a fraudulent identification card were found in his wallet.

Police identified him as 29-year-old Anthony Ranko through his fingerprints during the booking process. Ranko, who police said "appeared to be a transient," had several aliases including Anthony Spencer and Rocky Franco. 

The states of Louisiana and Texas have warrants for his arrest on similar charges, police said. Both states have expressed an interest in his extradition to face those him. 

Ranko was charged with credit card fraud, forgery and criminal impersonation charges. He was also charged as a fugitive from justice and was held on $325,000 bond pending arraignment Tuesday.

He is expected in Meriden Superior Court on June 5.

Anyone with information on Ranko can contact Detective Fairbrother of the Wallingford Police Department at 203-294-2845.

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