Two arrested in Boise gift card thefts

Posted at 5:27 PM, Feb 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 19:27:44-05

BOISE, Idaho — Boise Police have arrested two Pennsylvania women on multiple felony counts relating to the theft of high-value retail gift cards.

On Tuesday afternoon, members of the Boise Police Department’s Organized Retail Crime Unit learned of possible fraudulent purchases being made at several retail stores in the Boise area.

“Reports indicated that two women were making high-value gift card purchases at multiple stores, then acted suspiciously and fled when asked to show identification to verify that the credit cards they used belonged to them,” according to a Boise Police Department news release.

Officers reached out to members of the Organized Retail Crime Association of Idaho and learned that two women who matched the descriptions of the suspects were at a store on the 7900 block of Overland Road.

When officers arrived on scene, they took one of the women – later identified as Miara Armstead, 25, of Philadelphia -- into custody.

A second suspect was seen getting into a car in the parking lot, but eluded officers when they attempted to take her into custody, the release said.

“The suspect backed into a marked police vehicle while simultaneously hitting another parked car, then drove through a landscaping bed and sped away. In fleeing from police, the suspect vehicle’s (driver) also recklessly drove into oncoming traffic. An intense area search was conducted, and officers located the suspect vehicle soon after at a gas station on Airport Way,” the release explained.

Officers made contact with the female driver as she was walking away from the vehicle.

The suspect, later identified as Danielle Taylor, 28, also of Philadelphia, failed to comply with commands from the officers to stop. After a brief struggle, she was physically taken into custody, police said.

Officers say they found evidence the two suspects had flown to Boise on Tuesday morning.

When they were detained, they were found to be in possession of five credit cards that had been stolen from the victims at two local restaurants at around noon that day.

The suspects then used the credit cards to buy at least $11,000 in gift cards at multiple retail stores in the Boise area, according to the release. Officers believe that the suspects came to the Boise area with the intent of committing the crimes. A records search confirmed that Taylor had extraditable warrants out of New York, New Jersey, California, and Florida for similar crimes.

Armstead now faces three counts of felony burglary and five counts of felony possession of a financial transaction cards with intent to defraud.

Taylor faces felony charges of possession of a financial transaction cards with intent to defraud, burglary, eluding an officer, resisting officers, possession of a controlled substance, and being a fugitive to Idaho.