Albuquerque couple caught stealing thousands worth of Halloween merchandise

Crime

An Albuquerque couple’s big Halloween plans were ruined after they were busted for targeting local pop-up stores. 

They’re accused of fraudulently buying thousands of dollars worth of costumes and other decorations.

“This is merchandise that you don’t need and it is a little pricey, so they do come in here and try to get away with $40-50 costumes a lot,” says a Spirit Halloween store manager.

Albuquerque Police say on Wednesday, at the Spirit store on Montgomery and Wyoming, Seth McKelvy-Cothren used a fake credit card to buy more than $1300 worth of Halloween loot.

The next day, police say he went back to the Wyoming location and made another big purchase, seen in this security video.

It appears he brought his family for the crime.

“We just don’t trust anyone anymore.”

The manager of the Cutler Spirit store says McKelvy-Cothren, his girlfriend Lona Armstrong, and their 5-month old son, went to her store right after to try and do it again.

But she says her staff knew something wasn’t right when McKelvy-Cothren handed over a credit card with no name or numbers on it.

“When we went to scan it, it actually didn’t even scan or work. He was like well I know the credit card number, and we’re like we can’t do that.” 

She called the police.

“They were able to catch him down the road. From what I heard, he had several different credit cards in his car.” 

According to the criminal complaint, when police caught up to him, McKelvy-Cothren told officers he was using a pre-paid card, purchasing the items for his birthday party.

Police say Armstrong denied knowing anything about the cards and officers were going to let her go.

That was until they searched her and found a lot of gifts cards inside her bra.

“We’re onto this and we do want it to stop.” 

McKelvy-Cothren is still behind bars charged with fraud, ID theft, and tampering with evidence.

Armstrong has since been released from jail and is charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and tampering with evidence.

Spirit store managers across the city say they keep a close eye out for suspicious activity and alert other stores.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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