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Man accused of using stolen credit cards to buy thousands worth of merchandise around Bozeman

Posted at 7:59 PM, Apr 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-24 12:15:27-04

BOZEMAN — According to court documents, last week a New York man was allegedly caught using stolen credit cards to buy thousands of dollars worth of retail items around Bozeman.

“Most people don't come in and drop that kind of money and walk out with that many items,” says Dave Berghold, the owner of The Last Wind-Up.

I met Berghold at the Law and Justice Center. He was checking on the six watches purchased last Thursday that were being held for evidence.

“They made multiple purchases, apparently using multiple cards. I don’t think any of the cards were actually present, which was a red flag” says Dave.

Charging documents say last Wednesday, 43-year-old Alain Surpris and his female companion began their shopping spree around Bozeman. Surpris reportedly used stolen credit card information, mostly under the name David Smith. According to court documents, his first stop was Bob Wards, where Surpris purchased over $5,000 worth of merchandise.

Police say Thursday afternoon around 3 p.m., Surpris and his female companion entered The Last Wind-Up where they purchased 6 Rolex watches for a total of $52,724.

“The following day there was a voicemail on our machine from a legitimate cardholder—obviously, one of the ones that was compromised—saying that he didn't buy anything from our store,” Berghold says.

On Friday, Dave contacted other vendors around Bozeman and confirmed his store was not the only victim.

Schnee's, Evergreen, Revolver, and Bozeman Camera all reported being victims of fraud.

Later that day, Dave was on the phone with fellow vendors, when the Last Wind Up received a delivery.

“One of the local florists delivers a bouquet of flowers to us. And it was signed ‘Thank you for all your help, Dave’...The fake name," says the owner of The Last Wind Up.

Surpris had sent The Last Wind Up a bouquet as a “thank you” using ANOTHER stolen credit card.

Court documents say around 3:30 p.m. Friday, a Schnee's employee spotted the suspects in the store again and contacted police, having recognized them from the previous alleged fraudulent transaction.

Officers arrived and Surpris reportedly fled, getting into his rental car, backing into another vehicle, then speeding away. Officers were able to stop Surpris and take him into custody, along with his female companion.

Surpris stated he moved all purchased items to a hotel room where authorities were able to recover dozens of items with their tags still on them.

The woman claimed to be unaware of the stolen credit cards and was not charged. Surpris, who police say has an extensive criminal record, was charged with Deceptive Practices. His bail is currently set at $100,000.