ISLAND PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island gym owner has been arrested on identity theft charges, police said.
Thomas Donovan, owner of 5 Star Kickboxing in Oceanside, used his clients’ credit card account numbers to buy $30,000 worth of goods from Home Depot stores in Nassau and Suffolk counties, police said.
“He would get the information from the sheet that a prospective gym member would fill out upon entering the gym. On that sheet was their credit card information including the expiration date,” said Inspector Kenneth Lack. “He would then phone the orders in to Home Depot using that stolen information.”
Donovan fraudulently purchased several items, including tools, a snowblower and Christmas decorations, in November and December, police said.
At least three gym members noticed the fraudulent charges, Lack said.
“He violated my trust,” one of the victims, who asked not to be identified, told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera. “I’m glad he was caught.”
Mike Bonano told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff that he was planning to sign his girlfriend up for kickboxing classes.
“That’s just crazy. Blows my mind. Low thing to do,” he said.
The 39-year-old Island Park man was arrested outside his home, where police said they found an unlicensed defaced handgun and steroids.
Authorities say the case underlies the need to be vigilant about personal information.
“Frequently check your credit card bills. If you see anything suspicious, immediately cancel your card,” Lack said.
One restaurant owner told CBS2’s Gusoff that he goes a step further to protect his customers’ credit cards.
“Our software encrypts everything so once it’s swiped, it’s eliminated,” John hall said.
Donovan is charged with criminal possession of a weapon, grand larceny, identity theft, and defraud.
Police said Donovan has a long criminal history, including 14 prior arrests and nine convictions.
He was arraigned Wednesday in First District Court in Hempstead. Bail was set at $100,000.
Donovan is due back in court Friday.
A sign at the gym Wednesday read, “Classes are cancelled today!!! Sorry for any inconvenience!!!”
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