Two Massachusetts men have been arrested on suspicion of credit-card fraud in a case involving the , the and the U.S. Secret Service.
Jonathan Vendituoli, 53, of Swansea, MA, and Kevin Cooney, 53, of Belmont, MA, appeared in federal court Tuesday in connection with the case,a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Missouri states. They each face one count of credit-card fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit credit-card fraud.
The men are suspected of having broken into lockers at in Clayton, among other locations, and taking credit cards, Chief Tom Byrne of the Clayton police said. The men are suspected of having used the cards to purchase cameras, computer gear and other electronics, the release states.
Clayton police began an investigation into the case about six months ago after patrons of Wellbridge in Clayton reported having their cards taken, Byrne said. He said "quite a few" cards were stolen, though he didn't know the exact number. Purchases were made from at least one local business, Target in Brentwood.
"They had film of them on the premises," he said of the Wellbridge in Clayton. Clayton detectives worked in conjunction with the Secret Service because the case crosses state lines.
"These guys were professionals," Byrne said of the suspects.
Thursday's arrest came after a Clayton detective working out at Wellbridge in Town and Country spotted the two suspects in the facility, Byrne said. The and theSt. Louis Metropolitan Police Department assisted in the case, the release states.
According to Cpt. Gary Hoelzer with Town and Country police, his department was notified that the two were spotted in the Town and Country club and asked to apprehend them. When Town and Country officers arrived, the two were still in the club and taken into custody. Hoelzer said the two were likley there to steal items from club patrons.
"Oh, that's the only reason they were there, no doubt. They weren't there to work out," Hoelzer said. He also said the two were apprehended before taking anything at the Town and Country Wellbridge.
A third person is in custody in Massachusetts in connection with the case, Byrne said.