ATM surveillance pictures help police arrest mom accused of stealing son's debit card

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ATHENS, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Athens police said a man recently came to them with a banking problem: someone had been using his debit card without his permission.

"We were able to obtain the ATM footage from BB&T bank and it showed a female subject that none of us knew," said Detective Josh Rhodes, with the Athens Police Department.

Detective Rhodes said the woman took $480 out of the man's account over two days. When the man saw her picture, officers got a big surprise:

"He just stated that it was his mother and that he still wished to seek prosecution," said Rhodes.

"Oh my goodness!" said Daniel Cox, who lives in Athens.

"I have a teenage son and I think if I did that to him he'd be very upset with me!" said Stacy Cox, who also lives in Athens.

Shari Freeman now faces five counts of fraudulent use of a debit card.

Detective Rhodes said this type of crime happens far more often than you might think - in fact, he said the Athens Police Department sees fraudulent use of debit card cases almost every week.

"It usually turns out to be a family or friend or someone that knows that people," said Rhodes.

But he said there are ways to protect yourself:

"The biggest thing is don't give your pin number to anybody. You need to be the only one that knows it. Don't write it down, don't put it in your cell phone - it needs to be something that you can remember," said Rhodes.

Freeman is in jail under $2500 bond. She's due in court on April 25.

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