Credit card theft case in Tilton takes mysterious twists & turns

TILTON — The victim of a credit card theft from last year said this week he is getting frustrated by the lack of information forthcoming from the police regarding his card and its ultimate use.

Mike Gagne said he had bought some cabinets at Lowe's Department store and had received an in-store Lowes reward card worth $2,000 for later use.

He said a Lowe's subcontractor was doing some installation work at his Tilton home when one of the contractor's employees allegedly stole the card, apparently in May.

Gagne said he discovered the theft and reported it to the Tilton Police sometime in August of 2013 and the case was referred to the Merrimack County Sheriff's Department. Gagne said he was told the theft investigation was being handled by a different agency because someone who had connections to the Tilton Police Department had a conflict on interest in the case.

In addition, although the theft occurred in Tilton, Belknap County Attorney's office referred the matter to the Granfton County Attorneys Office.

Sheriff Scott Hilliard confirmed last week that his department conducted the investigation into the theft and on December 19, 2013 a Grafton County grand jury indicted Richard H. Miner, 35, whose last known address was Park Street in Northfield, for one count of theft by unauthorized taking and one count of conspiracy for receiving stolen property for allegedly conspiring with one or more people to dispose of the card.

Miner has been arraigned in Belknap County Superior Court and the case has been assigned a Belknap County docket number.

"All of a sudden I was told that the theft was in conflict with the Tilton Police and the (Richard) Miner investigation," said Gagne.

Gagne also said he was shown videos taken by Lowes of the people who used the card. He said he was told the card was used once for $30 at Lowes in Gilford and then the balance was used at a Lowes Home Improvement Store in Littleton.

He said he was told the person who used the card ordered roofing materials to be delivered to a job site in Tilton.

He also said he was shown the pictures of the people who used the card and said Richard Miner was not one of them, although he said he was told the Merrimack County Sheriffs Department was able to get Miner to confess to the theft of the card from his house.

Since Miner's indictment, Gagne said he hasn't heard anything from any agency.

"I'm just frustrated that nobody has ever sat down with me," he said, noting that since Miner's indictment he hasn't heard from anyone in law enforcement.

He said the only other thing he's learned is that the card was sold for 30-cents on the dollar.

Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier said he turned the case over to the Merrimack County Sheriff's Department because the was an apparent conflict within his department but declined any further comment.

Hilliard said the his department's involvement with the theft ended with the indictment of Miner for theft and conspiracy.

Additional sources told The Daily Sun the investigation into how and where the card was used is being conducted by the N.H. State Police.

Gagne said he would just like to know who actually used the card and if anything is going to be done about it.

"All I know is Richard did not use the card," he said.