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    Saturday, February 04, 2023

    Alleged Starbucks thieves arrested in East Lyme

    East Lyme ― Police on Thursday arrested two men at Starbucks in Flanders who allegedly used a stolen credit card to purchase more than $250 worth of merchandise.

    Police said it does not appear to be the first time the two men had attempted the alleged scam, which included returning merchandise bought at other Starbucks stores.

    A search of the rental vehicle the men were driving revealed about $1,800 worth of Starbucks merchandise, such as Starbucks tumblers, along with receipts from Starbucks stores in Pennsylvania, New York, Old Saybrook and Mystic.

    Antwone B. Washington, 30, of Far Rockaway, N.Y., and Dante S. Isaac, 31, of Hartford, each face credit card fraud, identify theft and larceny charges. Public records show Washington is on federal probation for a 2018 conviction on sex trafficking conspiracy charges.

    East Lyme police said they were alerted to the attempted theft at 7:51 p.m. on Thursday by Starbucks store personnel who had received a call from a woman in Delaware who had gotten an alert about a suspicious purchase on her credit card.

    Starbucks employees had refused to hand over the mobile order to the two men and also declined to refund the cost of the order to a credit card different from the one in which the order was charged, police said. The two men started an argument, which is when the employees called police.

    East Lyme Police Chief Michael Finkelstein said it was unclear why the men chose Starbucks to conduct the alleged scam.

    Public records show Washington was sentenced in 2018 to 66 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. Records show he was due to be released to a halfway house in May of 2021.

    Free on bond, the two men are scheduled to appear Dec. 9 in New London Superior Court.

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