Anthony Alder, a 31 Oakland resident, had plenty of gift cards to buy, but an alert cashier put a stop to that – and triggered an investigation that led to a laundry list of charges.
On February 4, 2013, a clerk at one of the stores in Stanford Shopping Center noticed many of the typical security features missing from Alder’s credit cards when he was trying to make a purchase. The clerk alerted security after Alder left the store. Security called the Palo Alto Police Department, who were unable to trace the suspect.
Forty minutes later, a Stanford Shopping Center security officer saw Alder shopping at Macy’s. Officers responded immediately and detained the suspect. Alder possessed not just one, but 11 altered or fraudulent credit cards in his name.
Alder was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony charges of burglary, possession and use of fraudulent credit cards, and use of personal identifying information of another (the credit card numbers on the credit cards were valid customers’ numbers though Alder had put his name on them). It was discovered that he had made several hundred dollars worth of gift card purchases at Macy’s, plus a dozen other attempted or completed transactions throughout Stanford Shopping Center that day.
When booked, Alder was already on probation for narcotics offenses from a prior conviction in Alameda County for possession for sales of narcotics and possession of concentrated cannabis.
Due to the large number of fake credit cards, detectives obtained a search warrant for Alder’s Oakland residence. After investigation revealed that multiple illegal assault weapons may be in his home, detectives requested the assistance of Palo Alto Police Department’s SWAT team (Special Weapons and Tactics) for the search.
On February 11, detectives aided by the SWAT team searched Alder’s home and discovered an illegal AK-47 assault rifle, high capacity loaded magazines, and additional evidence of identity theft, including more fraudulent credit cards, and a handgun that had been reported stolen during a Manteca residence burglary in March 2012.
Alder had posted bail a week earlier but was present during the search. He was immediately arrested and booked into the Alameda County Main Jail for felony charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession of an illegal assault weapon, possession of stolen property, and a probation violation.
Palo Alto Patch: AK-47, High Capacity Magazines Seized Following Stanford Shopping Center Fraud
Palo Alto Online: Accused Stanford mall fraudster had assault weapon