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College freshman charged after back-to-school purchases

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A Hobbs teenager who allegedly used another person’s credit card to buy college supplies is beginning her freshman year with a felony charge hanging over her head.

Victoria M. Medina, 18, was arrested by the Lea County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday on a fourth-degree felony charge of fraudulent use of credit card over $500 under $2,500.

Police said Medina, an employee of a clothing store in Hobbs, was wearing a work shirt from the store where she worked when she used a credit card she had found on the ground to make $731 of fraudulent purchases. Police said Medina was readily recognized by acquaintances in store surveillance videos making fraudulent purchases.

The victim on Aug. 4 told police she had lost her wallet Aug. 3 at one of two clothing stores in Hobbs. The victim said her wallet contained her New Mexico identification card, a store card, a credit card and $50 in cash.

The victim said she called the two clothing stores to see if her wallet had been recovered, but it had not been. The victim said she checked her credit card statement on Aug. 4 and discovered unauthorized purchases of $413.90 at a Hobbs office supply store, $176.97 at a Hobbs shoe store and $140.78 at a Hobbs drug store, totaling $731.65.

The victim said she went to the office supply store, where one of the clerks recognized Medina, and had worked with her at a local clothing store.

Police went to the clothing store and contacted Medina, who reportedly told police she found a money purse containing the credit card on the ground in the store’s parking lot.

“Victoria advised she was in need of items for college which she was about to start and decided to use the card to purchase items,” states the criminal complaint.

Medina reportedly told police she purchased gift cards at the office supply store, two pairs of shoes at the shoe store and other items from the drug store.

“Victoria advised she then threw the card away,” states the criminal complaint. “Victoria advised she did not have any of (the victim’s) items.”

A warrant for Medina’s arrest was issued Aug. 21 and was served Tuesday.

Medina had her first appearance Wednesday before Hobbs Magistrate Court Judge Craig La Bree and was released on her own recognizance. Her preliminary hearing before La Bree is scheduled at 9 a.m. Oct.

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