LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Lufkin Police Department arrested a 23-year-old man Tuesday in connection to allegations that he used information from Casa Ole customers' pre-paid credit and debit cards to add bogus large tip amounts to small purchases, resulting in the business losing $4,249.84 in disputed charges.
Louis Antonio Martinez-Ruiz, of Lufkin, was booked into the Angelina County Jail on a state-jail felony theft between $1,500 and $20,000 charge Tuesday. He was released later that day after he posted a bail amount of $2,500.
According to the arrest affidavit, an LPD officer was dispatched to the Casa Ole restaurant located at 2115 South First Street on April 5 in reference to employee theft. When the officer spoke to the restaurant's manager, she said that Martinez-Ruiz had been taking money from unauthorized purchases from debit or credit cards in the period from March 18 and April 1.
The manager also told the LPD officer that the business' owners told her that the restaurant had several thousand dollars in disputed charge-backs to Casa Ole as a result of non-approved charges over the previous few days.
According to the affidavit, the manager pulled the receipts in question, and on each of them, Martinez-Ruiz had charged an 11-cent purchase for a mint and then added a large tip listing him as the waiter. She also told the LPD officer that Martinez-Ruiz' name was on each of the charge-backs to the restaurant.
The woman also explained that this meant Martinez had to use his employee badge to authorize each transaction, the affidavit stated. She said, so far, they have determined that seven different pre-paid debit cards were used, the affidavit stated. Two of them were Visa, and the other five were MasterCards.