A Spanish Fork man was arrested and taken into custody in Orem on Thursday.
According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, officers with the Orem Police Department responded to reports of fraud at a local Target. Target employees told police two men attempted to buy prepaid Visa gift cards with another individual’s financial card.
As authorities were en route, a red Saturn failed to stop at a stop sign and pulled out in front of an officer. The officer reported seeing two men inside the vehicle who matched the descriptions of the individuals involved in the alleged fraud.
Officials initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, having both men exit the vehicle and collecting their Utah identification cards. The two men were identified as 29-year-old Preston Spencer Nielsen and another 25-year-old man.
During a records check, officers on scene discovered that Nielsen had five active, no-bail warrants and placed him into handcuffs to take him into custody, according to arrest documents.
Items relevant to the arrest as well as potential drug paraphernalia were observed in plain sight by police, which granted officers probable cause to conduct a search of the vehicle.
During the search, three prepaid Visa gift cards were found inside of a Target shopping bag with two receipts as well as two sunglasses containers filled with heroin, syringes, tin foil and other paraphernalia, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Employees at the Target said Nielsen and his passenger had allegedly purchased five prepaid Visa cards using three stolen financial transaction cards.
Officers verified that the cards used had been stolen sometime between Wednesday and Thursday, and the last four digits of each financial card was present on the receipts indicating the sale of the prepaid Visa cards.
During a search of Nielsen’s passenger, police also allegedly discovered a JetBlue credit card that had been reported stolen out of the owner’s vehicle. While the JetBlue card had been recovered, the owner’s blue Arrival MasterCard, blue Chase debit card, Utah driver’s license and other cards were not recovered and are still missing.
According to arrest documents, the two remaining stolen financial transaction cards were not located, and police believe Nielsen and his passenger discarded the stolen cards after leaving Target and before authorities were able to make contact with them.
Nielsen was arrested and taken into custody under the suspicion of third-degree felony unlawful acquisition or possession of a financial card, third-degree felony unlawful use of a financial transaction card, class A misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and class B misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
Officials also arrested Nielsen for his active warrants, including second-degree felony theft by receiving stolen property, third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance within a correctional facility, third-degree felony burglary, third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance and class A misdemeanor theft.
He is currently being held at the Utah County Jail on $5,000 bail.