Man accused of theft of more than $5,000 with stolen card

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MANCHESTER — Police say a Manchester man is facing charges after he ran up more than $5,000 in charges on a bank card he said he found.

Christopher Kapusta, 31, of Manchester has been charged with 37 counts of ID theft and 37 counts of fraud after police said he used a bank card more than 75 times throughout Bennington County, Rutland County and Rensselaer County, New York.

Detective Thomas Crowe of the Manchester Police Department said they were contacted by a Manchester resident who said he wasn't able to access his bank account by computer for about a month and when he regained access to the account, he found the charges.

Crowe said after talking to the owner of the card and conducting a lengthy investigation, he found well over 75 cases where the card had been used for items ranging from a beverage to a laptop including a bunch of camping gear.

Crowe said the purchases happened throughout the month the card owner couldn't access the bank account.

Crowe wasn't sure why the account couldn't be accessed.

The detective said Kapusta told him he had found the card, but Crowe said it doesn't matter how he obtained the card, he used it.

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"That's the crime," Crowe said.

Crowe said that despite the card being used more than 75 times, they only pursued the more egregious purchases in an agreement with the state's attorneys in Rutland and Bennington counties.

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"We went sparingly on the charges," Crowe said. "Both state's attorneys agreed there was no need [for more charges]. They agreed to charge him with those and work for restitution."

Crowe said an additional dozen or so times the card was used in New York would have to be pursued by New York authorities if they chose to.

Most of the purchases occurred in Rutland County and Kapusta faces 46 charges in Rutland County and 28 counts in Bennington County for a total of 74 charges.

Charges were not brought for some of the lesser uses such as a couple of dollars for a drink. Crowe said there was no further value in adding more charges for such small purchases and the main thought behind the charges that were filed was to teach a lesson and get restitution for the victim.

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Crowe said he, Manchester Chief Patrick Owens and the state's attorneys agreed the charges leveled would be sufficient to achieve that. Still, the case is open to additional charges if the investigation warrants them.

Each use of the card carried two charges — one for fraud and one for ID theft — because by using the card, Kapusta illegally assumed the ID of the cardholder.

Crowe said Kapusta bought a wide range of items ranging from grocery store visits and medicine to car parts, camping gear and more.

Kapusta is due in court in Bennington County to answer to the charges later in September and Rutland County in October.

Contact Darren Marcy at

dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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