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Accused Stanford mall fraudster had assault weapon

Illegal weapons found in man's Oakland home after alleged credit card fraud at mall

Palo Alto police said a man who allegedly used counterfeit credit cards to defraud stores at Stanford Shopping Center had a stash of illegal weapons in his Oakland home.

The weapons were discovered in a Feb. 11 search following the Feb. 4 arrest of the man, Anthony Edward Alder Jr., for fraud-related charges at Stanford Shopping Center.

Police responded to a call from mall security on the afternoon of Feb. 4 that a man had tried to purchase a speaker system from the Bose store with a fraudulent credit. A clerk noticed the card was missing many of the typical security features.

When the first card did not work, Alder allegedly tried to use other credit cards, then became spooked as store staff tried to stall him. He left the store, police spokeswoman Sgt. Kara Apple said.

About 40 minutes later a Stanford Shopping Center security officer saw him inside Macy's. Police were immediately notified, and responding officers detained him outside the store without incident, Apple said.

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Police found Alder was in possession of 11 altered or fraudulent credit cards in his name, but with credit card numbers belonging to others. He allegedly had successfully purchased several hundred dollars worth of gift cards from Macy's about three hours earlier, Det. Sgt. Brian Philip said in a statement.

Alder was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony charges of burglary, possession and use of fraudulent credit cards, and use of personal identifying information of another. He is on probation for narcotics offenses, stemming from a prior conviction in Alameda County for possession for sales of narcotics and possession of concentrated cannabis,according to Philip.

Police said Alder had attempted or completed a dozen additional fraudulent transactions at various retailers throughout Stanford Shopping Center that day.

Because all of the fraudulent credit cards were in Alder's true name but bore legitimate credit card numbers belonging to others, police believed the cards were altered or possibly manufactured, Philip said. It is not uncommon for persons entrenched in identity-theft crimes to own sophisticated credit card manufacturing equipment and supplies, he added.

Alder had posted bail by the time detectives obtained a search warrant for his residence. Because of concerns he might own illegal assault weapons, the Palo Alto Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team assisted detectives with the search warrant on Feb. 11, at 9:30 a.m. in the 3300 block of East 17th Street in Oakland, Philip said.

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Detectives found an illegal AK-47 assault rifle, a handgun that had been reported stolen during a March 2012, residential burglary in Manteca, high-capacity loaded magazines, and additional evidence of identity theft, including more fraudulent credit cards. Police did not find credit card manufacturing equipment, Philip said.

Alder, who was home at the time, was arrested for felony charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession of an illegal assault weapon, possession of stolen property, and a probation violation. Police booked him into the Alameda County Main Jail.

Anyone with additional information about these incidents can contact the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Accused Stanford mall fraudster had assault weapon

Illegal weapons found in man's Oakland home after alleged credit card fraud at mall

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Feb 15, 2013, 11:56 am

Palo Alto police said a man who allegedly used counterfeit credit cards to defraud stores at Stanford Shopping Center had a stash of illegal weapons in his Oakland home.

The weapons were discovered in a Feb. 11 search following the Feb. 4 arrest of the man, Anthony Edward Alder Jr., for fraud-related charges at Stanford Shopping Center.

Police responded to a call from mall security on the afternoon of Feb. 4 that a man had tried to purchase a speaker system from the Bose store with a fraudulent credit. A clerk noticed the card was missing many of the typical security features.

When the first card did not work, Alder allegedly tried to use other credit cards, then became spooked as store staff tried to stall him. He left the store, police spokeswoman Sgt. Kara Apple said.

About 40 minutes later a Stanford Shopping Center security officer saw him inside Macy's. Police were immediately notified, and responding officers detained him outside the store without incident, Apple said.

Police found Alder was in possession of 11 altered or fraudulent credit cards in his name, but with credit card numbers belonging to others. He allegedly had successfully purchased several hundred dollars worth of gift cards from Macy's about three hours earlier, Det. Sgt. Brian Philip said in a statement.

Alder was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony charges of burglary, possession and use of fraudulent credit cards, and use of personal identifying information of another. He is on probation for narcotics offenses, stemming from a prior conviction in Alameda County for possession for sales of narcotics and possession of concentrated cannabis,according to Philip.

Police said Alder had attempted or completed a dozen additional fraudulent transactions at various retailers throughout Stanford Shopping Center that day.

Because all of the fraudulent credit cards were in Alder's true name but bore legitimate credit card numbers belonging to others, police believed the cards were altered or possibly manufactured, Philip said. It is not uncommon for persons entrenched in identity-theft crimes to own sophisticated credit card manufacturing equipment and supplies, he added.

Alder had posted bail by the time detectives obtained a search warrant for his residence. Because of concerns he might own illegal assault weapons, the Palo Alto Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team assisted detectives with the search warrant on Feb. 11, at 9:30 a.m. in the 3300 block of East 17th Street in Oakland, Philip said.

Detectives found an illegal AK-47 assault rifle, a handgun that had been reported stolen during a March 2012, residential burglary in Manteca, high-capacity loaded magazines, and additional evidence of identity theft, including more fraudulent credit cards. Police did not find credit card manufacturing equipment, Philip said.

Alder, who was home at the time, was arrested for felony charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession of an illegal assault weapon, possession of stolen property, and a probation violation. Police booked him into the Alameda County Main Jail.

Anyone with additional information about these incidents can contact the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Comments

I-Have-A-Warrant
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm
I-Have-A-Warrant, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm

> Because of concerns he might own illegal assault weapons,

What exactly does this mean? Are assault weapons supposed to be illegal? If so, how does one actually own such a weapon? It's understandable that someone might have possession of such a weapon, but how would such a person actually establish ownership?

It's a little difficult to fully understand why a person pushing fake credit cards would have an AK-47 (or any other kind of assault weapon), but certainly there is no reason not to believe that criminals like this person might have some sort of weapon in his possession.

As it turned out, the police were right. Which kind of begs the question: should every search warrent that is served be done so with the expectation that the person of interest might have a cache of weapons in the place that is being searched?

This situation seems to have turn out to be one that the good guys won, for a change.


musical
Palo Verde
on Feb 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm
musical, Palo Verde
on Feb 15, 2013 at 3:39 pm

>> This situation seems to have turn out to be one that the good guys won, for a change.

Only temporarily.


legal assault weapons
Downtown North
on Feb 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm
legal assault weapons, Downtown North
on Feb 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Would they still call the SWAT team if they thought he had legal assault weapons? If the weapon is legal, are the police infringing on his 2nd amendment rights by raiding his house with the cavalry for a white collar fraud allegation?


Yuri
Crescent Park
on Feb 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm
Yuri, Crescent Park
on Feb 15, 2013 at 4:42 pm

I should think they'd send the SWAT team simply for their own safety, to fight force with equal force.


Hulkamania
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm
Hulkamania, Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 15, 2013 at 5:31 pm

"If the weapon is legal, are the police infringing on his 2nd amendment rights by raiding his house with the cavalry for a white collar fraud allegation?"

Is he a member of a well regulated militia?


Silly
South of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2013 at 12:34 am
Silly, South of Midtown
on Feb 16, 2013 at 12:34 am

It's not infringing on a second amendment right u they have a search warrant. Plus them the fourth amendment would come more into play. I'm pretty sure some people are not allowed to be in possession of any firearms.

Who cares about the use of the swat team? Isn't that secondary to the offenses he's been accused of? I'm glad they got this guy, one more illegal gun off the street. He doesn't exactly sound like the type of responsible gun owner we hope to have in our communities


alex
Midtown
on Feb 16, 2013 at 7:41 am
alex, Midtown
on Feb 16, 2013 at 7:41 am

Yuri,

This country is not supposed to work like that. I am anti-gun, but that also includes being against unreasonable force by police.


Les
College Terrace
on Feb 16, 2013 at 9:14 am
Les, College Terrace
on Feb 16, 2013 at 9:14 am

Hey critics, an assault weapon, or any other firearm for that matter is illegal to possess if you're a prior convicted felon like this guy. He's already way past being just a "white collar" criminal so spare us that argument, please. I'm willing to bet that his criminal history stretches way beyond that, and relied on this and other information while planning on how to approach this situation. I'm confident that the police had this as well additional information to feel compelled to use a SWAT team to make the arrest. As it turned out, they were right and no one got hurt.


I-Have-A-Warrant
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2013 at 10:15 am
I-Have-A-Warrant, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 16, 2013 at 10:15 am

> information to feel compelled to use a SWAT team
> to make the arrest. As it turned out, they were right and no
> one got hurt.

Maybe. But let’s also remember that Oakland is full of “bad guys”, who have no problem killing cops. It wasn’t that long ago that one of the fellows killed four Oakland cops within a couple of hours—all starting with a traffic stop:

Web Link

There’s no way of knowing if the police had any information about this fellow’s possible possession of weapons, unless they release that information. On the other hand, the Oakland police are fully aware of how much violence they have to deal with on a daily basis. No reason not to be prudent, and take as much fire power as needed, in that town.


Les
College Terrace
on Feb 16, 2013 at 11:11 am
Les, College Terrace
on Feb 16, 2013 at 11:11 am

And I'm quite sure that Palo Alto officers would have met with and shared there intentions to conduct the search warrant with Oakland PD. That is a standard procedure, especially if an agency from out of town is coming in to conduct an operation like this. Oakland PD may have very well had additional information about either this specific suspect, or the address where he resides. Considering his past criminal history of drug dealing and felony convictions, and going into an area wrought with violence and street crime, I am not the least bit surprised that a SWAT unit was utilized for this operation.


Neal
Community Center
on Feb 17, 2013 at 6:41 am
Neal, Community Center
on Feb 17, 2013 at 6:41 am

Why second guess the Palo Alto PD? Good job PAPD. Using the SWAT team to assist Oakland PD gives them much needed hands on experience which will make them better prepared for the next time they're needed.


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