The trail of charges rung up on a credit card, stolen in the Howell Home Depot last May, brings investigators to a suspect in Jackson, with help from web-surfing tipsters.

Home Depot credit card theft suspect (Howell PD)

Wolde S. Simon, 43, of Woods Edge Drive, faces third-degree counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and forgery, and a fourth-degree count of credit card theft, following his Wednesday arrest. He was released to await a court date.

The incident took place on May 5. Two months later, Howell police issued a surveillance image. Spokesman Sergeant Christian Antunez says that information through digital sites helped speed the identification.

The credit card owner accidentally left it at the hardware center's return counter. Police said that moments later, the suspect now believed to be Simon entered with his two young children, snapped it up and began ringing up charges in the hundreds of dollars.

A conviction on a third-degree charge places a defendant at risk of a prison term of three to five years, plus fines. Fourth-degree counts carry sentences of up to 18 months.

Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law. 

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