, Salem, MA

Local News

April 5, 2014

Woman indicted in credit card fraud

SALEM — A South Shore woman with a history of fraud convictions has been indicted on charges that she slipped into a Salem gym, stole a man’s car keys and went on a shopping spree with his credit cards last December.

When confronted by Salem police detectives, they say she calmly lied about who she was, and then tried to pin the blame on an older relative and a teenage girl.

Cheryl Donahue, also known as Cheryl Whittemore, 43, was caught after the owner of the stolen Toyota Camry used his “Find my iPhone” application to trace the phone to the parking lot of Wal-Mart on Highland Avenue, where, it turns out, Donahue had used one of the man’s credit cards, according to police.

Police took it from there, obtaining surveillance images. They had a stroke of luck when they spotted a Cadillac Escalade that had also been seen in the surveillance video, according to the police report.

But when they stopped that SUV and recognized the driver from the Wal-Mart video, she was one step ahead of them, giving the name “Lisa Rosati” and a date of birth from 1968, according to a police report. Possibly because she believed police would never learn her true identity, she was forthcoming with information, admitting that she’d used a credit card at the Wal-Mart to buy a Leap Pad educational toy.

She claimed that an older relative had been given the cards by a woman who owed her money, and that she had no idea that they were stolen. She also claimed not to know anything about a stolen Camry or iPhone.

The detectives told “Rosati” that she would be sent a summons to appear in court on credit card fraud charges.

Then police talked to the owner of the Escalade. She told them that “Rosati” was staying with her and had asked for a ride to Salem, then returned soon after driving a stolen Camry, police said.

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