James Dowling began his shopping spree with a another man’s bank card by buying a bottle of Mountain Dew, a Snickers and donating $1 to the American Heart Association, police said.
However, the 35-year-old Boca man later learned that no good deed — especially when accompanied by not-so-good deeds — goes unpunished.
Boca police arrested Dowling shortly after 1 a.m. Monday. He faces fraud and theft charges after they said he used Igor Golebiowski’s card.
According to the police report, Dowling made the $4.16 purchase at a Walgreens store Feb. 3. The next day he made five transactions, including two at the same pizza joint, and charged more than $160 to the card. Dowling bought pizza for himself and a neighbor, cigarettes, drinks, beer and gasoline.
About a week later, police caught on to him.
Officers viewed Walgreens’ surveillance footage and noticed the man who bought the soda, Snickers bar and left the donation.
Weeks later, police spoke to the owner of the pizza parlor where Dowling used the card to complete telephone orders. Officers then called the neighbor for whom he bought the second order. They told her they were investigating a fraud case involving a stolen card that was used to order a pizza that was delivered to her home. She eventually told police, during a March 6 interview at the station, that her neighbor, whom she knew only as “James,” had paid for the pie.
She said he asked her to drive him to a gas station the same day of the pizza purchase. She did. Dowling bought items, paid for her gas and she gave him money, the woman said. She told officers she didn’t know Dowling had used a stolen card until after police had called her.
She viewed the gas station footage and identified herself and Dowling.
Police then went to Dowling’s home on Southwest Second Avenue, and he answered the door. They told him they were investigating him regarding the card fraud and that they would return later to interview him. When they came back, Dowling told them he found the card near railroad tracks at Camino Real. He said he made three purchases at the gas station, signed receipts and bought gas for someone else. What he didn’t remember, he said, was making a purchase at Walgreens. That was until an officer mentioned the $1 he donated to the American Heart Association.
As of Tuesday evening, Dowling was being held at the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $16,000 bail.