November 1, 2023 – Port Charlotte, FL
A Port Charlotte man was arrested on Halloween after fraudulently using a coworker’s credit card to purchase items, to include a pumpkin he carved and placed in front of his home.
On October 29, 2023, Charlotte County detectives responded to Chili’s Restaurant in Port Charlotte to take a report of a theft and unauthorized usage of an employee’s credit card. The victim stated that she believed she had dropped her wallet in the parking lot of work one day and searched for it to no avail. When checking her bank statement, she noticed several charges that she did not make during the time when the wallet was lost.
Detectives verified the times of the unauthorized purchases and were able to obtain security footage from the businesses. In each video obtained, they observed the same male, later identified as Edward Atwood (11/25/1983), wearing a Chili’s baseball cap and using the victim’s credit card. In one of these security videos, Atwood is seen purchasing a case of beer and a pumpkin.
“All jokes aside, it is sad that an individual would do this to anyone, but especially someone with whom they work. I guess I just have a higher expectation for coworkers, because we treat each other like family. Not everyone has that kind of relationship with others at work, but hopefully they don’t have people like this, either.”Sheriff Bill Prummell
Deputies arrived at Atwood’s residence to speak with him and noticed a freshly-carved pumpkin in the driveway. They spoke with the homeowner, who advised that Atwood would be returning soon. She noted that he had just purchased the pumpkin on Saturday (10/28), which matched the timeline of the video footage detectives had reviewed.
As Atwood returned home, deputies made contact with him and discovered the victim’s credit cards, driver’s license, and other various cards all in Atwood’s wallet. The pumpkin was collected as evidence.
Atwood was placed under arrest and taken to the Charlotte County Jail, where he later bonded out.