Credit cards

Police: Hartsville Taco Bell employee photographed customers’ credit cards and used them to purchase items for herself

HARTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) — A woman who worked at a Hartsville Taco Bell allegedly took pictures of customers’ credit cards and then used the numbers to purchase items for herself, according to police documents.

Police said Laquawanda Hawkins was “so brazen and skilful about it that she does it even while the manager is right behind her storage shelves,” according to an incident report.

The Taco Bell, located on South Fifth Street, is the same location where another employee was charged with helping rob the business at gunpoint in January.

Police were called to the Taco Bell about the credit card fraud on June 6, according to a report. A victim said she was heading to the beach when she received an alert that someone had tried to use her credit card at a Pizza Hut in Hartsville. A copy of the transactions the victim gave to police revealed that the purchases were made both in Hartsville and online.

Another report, dated June 10, included purchases at the same Taco Bell, as well as $636 in rental scooters from Bird and Advance Auto.

Four days later, another victim told police she drove through the Taco Bell drive-thru on her way to Tennessee and discovered that Facebook Pay payments had been sent from her credit card.

A May 29 video showed Hawkins taking photos of credit cards with his phone before returning them to drive-thru customers, according to the report.

During a police interview, Hawkins allegedly admitted to taking pictures of the cards and using them, stating that she owed bills. She also said she bought shoes and another phone online, according to the incident report. She denied shopping at other locations. She offered to return the items she had purchased fraudulently.

News13 called the Taco Bell and asked for a manager, who said he had no comment on the matter.

Hawkins faces four counts of financial transaction card theft, four counts of financial identity theft and four counts of fraudulent receipt of goods or services.

She has since been released on bail, according to prison records.