‘Cold-hearted’ Florida cop arrested for using dead man’s credit card for hotel, Wendy’s
A Florida cop took pictures of a dead man’s credit card and later used the information to pay for a hotel stay and eyelash extensions, police said Wednesday.
St. Cloud Patrol Officer Dianne Ferreira, 25, responded to a 911 call of a man in cardiac arrest on April 3 and emergency crews found the victim dead on arrival.
The deceased man’s grieving wife spotted suspicious charges on a credit card bill several weeks later and alerted authorities.
Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez said Wednesday that Ferreira later admitted to taking snapshots of the man’s card and storing them on a device.
She used the information for seven mobile food purchases, a hotel stay and a meal at Wendy’s.
Ferreira also tried to use the card information for gas and eyelash extensions, but the charges were declined after the victim’s wife alerted the issuer.
Investigators were able to obtain a description of the fraudster’s car and later realized that it matched Ferreira’s vehicle.
She was arrested for several fraud raps and terminated as a patrol officer with the department.
“Do I think this was her first time doing this?’ Lopez asked. “Probably not, because you have to be a pretty cold-hearted person to go to someone’s house where her husband or her loved one has passed away and go in and try to take snapshots of a credit card. That’s pretty cold. Pretty ruthless.”
Ferreira copped to the crime when confronted by investigators, Lopez said.
St. Cloud Police Chief Douglas Goerke said the betrayal damaged his department’s hard-earned reputation among local residents.
“Every once in a while, you will have someone who will do something that will call into question the very credibility of what we do every single day,” he said.
Goerke added that he hadn’t seen a similar crime in his 25 years in law enforcement.
“I think it’s horrible,” Lopez said. “You really feel you were taken advantage of, especially when its law enforcement. Who else do you go to?”