An alert Boynton Beach Publix store manager gave authorities the tip they needed to track a man they say has been feeding off a steady stream of ATM cash withdrawals for months using stolen bank and credit card account numbers.
Hallandale resident Fouad Sankis Dahdah, 40, was arrested Wednesday night and is in jail facing 15 counts of using counterfeit credit cards, 13 counts of grand theft, 15 counts of organized fraud and 13 counts of identity theft – and more charges may be on the horizon as the investigation into Dahdah’s withdrawals continues.
The take in these cases total at least $8,420, according to the arrest report.
The charges Dahdah currently faces stem from 29 alleged fraudulent ATM withdrawals made in Boca Raton from Jan. 17 to July 11 using skimmed debit cards.
The arrest report notes, however, that Dahdah is a suspect in multiple cases of fraudulent debit card use throughout several jurisdictions.
Authorities say in Boca Raton, Dahdah frequented ATMs at several Publix grocery stores, Walgreens, CVS and banks, making multiple cash withdrawals with multiple cards at each stop. His smallest withdrawal: $80. His largest: $900.
Each time he wore the same clothing: dark blue baseball cap, dark blue T-shirt, black pants and white gym shorts.
Investigators believe Dahdah ‘re-manufactures’ legitimate store cards by “erasing/degaussing their magnetic strips and entering ‘new’ information on them in order to obtain cash from accounts of unsuspecting victims.”
Early this month, authorities got the valuable tip from a manager of the Publix at 3775 Woolbright Road.
Manager Shaun Chatham had previously reviewed store video for a case of fraud reported to him by a man in Texas. The man had traced a withdrawal on his account to Chatham’s Publix on June 28. On July 2, the manager headed for the ATM himself and saw the suspect he’d seen on the video. He followed that man to a gold Chevy van, memorized the tag number and called Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies.
The tag led authorities to Dahdah’s home at 1800 S. Ocean Drive in Hallandale Beach. Today, detectives followed Dahdah as he left his garage in a black Humvee and drove to a business warehouse where he parked and then got into a Chevy van. They followed him north into suburban Boca Raton’s The Polo Club Shoppes on Champion Boulevard. There he headed for the ATM where detectives said he made several transactions. Out of their jurisdiction, the Boca police called Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies who made the arrest.
According to his arrest report, Dahdah had $700 cash in his front pocket — all in $20 bills — and seven fraudulent credit cards, which deputies said had been re-encoded.