Gift card swindle leads to theft citation


by Sarah Squires

An alleged gift card swindle from multiple Winona Kwik Trip locations led to a theft citation for a Rochester woman.

Police said that Liberty Lynn Thompson, 31, of Rochester, went into the Homer Road Kwik Trip at about 6 a.m. on Sunday and tried to purchase a $200 gift card. The cashier activated the card and put it on the counter. That's when, according to the report, Thompson picked up the card, put her hand in her purse and said she'd forgotten her wallet. She then handed back a gift card, but it wasn't the one the clerk had just activated.

Since a long line of customers had formed, the clerk set the card aside to deactivate later. But when the line subsided and the card was examined, it turned out to be an unactivated card, not the one for $200 the clerk had just activated.

The woman, said police, had switched the card with money on it with another card she'd swiped before.

Police said that after Thompson left the Homer Road store she went to the Mankato Avenue Kwik Trip and purchased $15.08 in gas, three $25 gift cards and one $50 card, all with the $200 card she'd gotten in the Homer Road switcheroo. Shortly afterward, police said an unidentified male with the woman went into the Cottonwood drive Kwik Trip and purchased $60 in scratch off lottery tickets with two gift cards.

Police were called just after 8 a.m. to the Homer Road location after the switch had been discovered. They examined all three video surveillance tapes from the stores and mailed Thompson a citation for theft. Police are still seeking a male suspect in the case.


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