Saturday, April 21, 2018
Public safety

Teacher finds stack of debit cards in 6-year-old's bookbag

RIVERVIEW — Deputies were still investigating Tuesday how dozens of debit cards got into the hands of a 6-year-old student, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

The student was in class at Symmes Elementary School, 6280 Watson Road, Monday morning when the teacher retrieved her homework from a notebook and saw 52 debit cards tucked inside a bag, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Larry McKinnon.

The school notified deputies, who executed a search warrant at the student's home at 6921 Hawthorne Trace Lane about 6:30 p.m. Monday.

At the townhome, detectives interviewed the girl's mother, whom the Sheriff's Office has not identified.

"She was nervous," said Cpl. Bruce Crumpler. "She was somewhat scared of the whole process of what was going on."

Investigators recovered more debit cards, receipts and several computers at the home, Crumpler said, as well as items purchased with fraudulent money, including scooters, purses, toys and jewelry.

The property recovered was valued at about $6,000, deputies said. Investigators were still trying to determine how the debit cards found at the school Monday were funded, but have concluded that several were loaded with money from tax refunds, Crumpler said.

An investigation remained under way Tuesday.

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