Fugitive of the Week: Leona Brooks

Detectives describe this week's fugitive -- Leona Brooks -- as a "career criminal." She's charged with Forgery, Identity theft, Falsifying Business Records and Grand Larceny.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Thieves don’t need your credit card to go on a shopping spree these days, which is why it may be a good idea to check your bank statements regularly. All a thief needs is your credit card number(s).

How and where do they get them? Police say this week’s fugitive is an expert.

Detectives say Leona Brooks somehow got a hold of an elderly Rochester woman’s credit card number and went on a shopping spree at drug stores in Tully and Baldwinsville.

Sgt. Robert Conley, with the Fugitive Task Force says Brooks racked up more than $2,000 on the woman’s card; $900 at one store and $1,200 at another – without even having the card in hand.

Sgt. Conley says Brooks would tell the clerk that she had her cards compromised and that she didn’t want to swipe them anymore and wanted to manually punch in the numbers herself to make the purchase.

But how did she even get the numbers in the first place? Apparently, it’s not that uncommon, according to Sgt. Conley.

“We haven’t been able to track down who she bought it from. A lot of people we’ve interviewed say it’s common place that you can go and buy credit card numbers and just use it until the card is canceled from the bank,” Sgt. Conley told NewsChannel 9.

Detectives describe Brooks as a career criminal, with 17 years of forgery experience.

“There’s no reason to believe she is going to stop, there will be more victims,” Sgt. Conley said.

If you can help police find Brooks, call the tip line at 473-7625.

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