Fairfax County police have arrested a young couple from New York who allegedly used fraudulent credit cards to buy thousands of dollars of goods from Northern Virginia retailers, most of it high-end perfume.
Messihana Alicia Porter, 18, is still in high school. Fairfax County Police she used the alias Tanya Harding on fake or cloned gift gifts and credit cards she received from 21-year-old Donovan Nedd.
Court documents say Porter and Nedd used the fake cards in Virginia, and Macy's stores at Tysons Corner Center and Fair Oaks Mall were frequent targets.
The two are charged with credit card theft and attempting to sell stolen property.
Investigators say Nedd recruited Porter when she was still a juvenile. She told investigators Nedd would give her the fake or cloned cards. Her alias -- Tanya Harding -- was stamped on all of them. She said Nedd instructed her to buy high-priced items. Chanel perfume was a favorite.
Nedd would then allegedly take the perfume back to New York to resell it. Porter was supposed to get a percentage of the profits.
Court documents show that on just two days in November in Fairfax County, the couple allegedly stole $9,145.26 worth of goods by using the fake or cloned cards.
Porter was arrested two weeks ago after Fairfax County officers received a tip from Fair Oaks Mall security about a suspicious couple.
Police caught up with Nedd by getting Porter's help. While in custody, the teenager reportedly called Nedd on her cell phone and lured him to a gas station near Fair Oaks Mall here, where he was arrested.
Inside his Ford Focus, authorities found thousands of dollars of perfume, $800 high-top sneakers and clothes.
The couple wasn't always getting big money when they allegedly resold items in New York. For example, they allegedly resold a $1,000 Gucci watch for just $200.
Both suspects are now in Fairfax County jail.
New evidence suggests they repeated the pattern at malls in the Boston area. Police say this investigation could lead to other suspects and more charges.
"This particular case was extremely complicated, it's very complex, and it's much larger and growing," said Lucy Caldwell of Fairfax County Police. "This is a problem not only here but in Northern Virginia but all along the East Coast we're seeing it, and a lot of these folks are connected."
Police say this case underscores their constant message -- check your credit card activity frequently and know what you're spending.