Couple arrested accused of using stolen gift card in North Fort Myers

FOX 4 Staff

Couple arrested accused of using stolen gift card in North Fort Myers

CREATED Nov. 30, 2012

TROPICAL ACRES, Fla. - Charlotte County detectives arrested a Tropical Gulf Acres couple charging them with using a stolen Walmart gift card.

29-year-old Paul William Bowling and 28-year-old Stephanie Anne Benning are charged with grand theft and dealing in stolen property.

The case began with a phone call from a woman who works at the Punta Gorda Elks Lodge.  She reported that her wallet was stolen out of a cabinet where employees keep personal items.  She told detectives her father gave her a Walmart gift card and had the card number. She checked Walmart’s website and found that her stolen gift card had been used twice on Nov. 17 in North Fort Myers for a total of $356 in charges

.Detectives went to the Walmart store and obtained surveillance video which showed a man and a woman in a blue SUV enter the parking lot; both went into the store around 2:40 a.m. The woman made two separate transactions with the stolen gift card.  

Detectives took copies of surveillance videos to the Elks Lodge and showed them to a bartender who identified the woman as Benning, a member of the night cleaning crew. Detectives determined that Benning had been with her boyfriend, Bowling, the night of the purchases.

Benning and Bowling were arrested and transported to the Charlotte County Jail; both posted $7,500 each and were released.

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