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Theft of the Magi: Alleged Scammer Hits Ellis Antiques

Collingswood police report that an online client of the local antique shop bought a watch chain with a stolen credit card during the holidays.

Collingswood police said a scammer allegedly tried to buy an antique watch chain and watch with a stolen Visa. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.
Collingswood police said a scammer allegedly tried to buy an antique watch chain and watch with a stolen Visa. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

The retail pressures of the holiday season may occasionally offer up moments like those outlined in the classic O. Henry tale "Gift of the Magi"—but in December, one Collingswood shop almost relived the bitter details of its plot without any of the sweetness.

On December 13, Ellis Antiques fielded a call from an Internet shopper asking about purchasing a gold watch chain the store had listed for sale online, Collingswood Police said.

The shop reportedly accepted a credit card payment and mailed out the item to an address in East Chatham, NY. 

Shortly thereafter, police said, Visa notified Ellis Antiques that the card used in the transaction had been stolen. 

Police said the store was insured for the loss, and they contacted authorities in East Chatham to look into it. 

The saving grace: the same customer had inquired about purchasing a $2,000 gold watch from the antique shop, but the retailer postponed that transaction until the first order had cleared.

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