WATERVILLE — A pair of Florida men were arrested Wednesday after police said they used stolen credit card numbers to buy items at Wal-Mart before trying to evade arresting officers.

Yordan Chavez-Alvarez, 38, and Yunior Bencomo-Perez, 31, both of Miami, were reported at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to have used stolen credit card numbers to buy small items and load money onto gift cards at the chain store on Waterville Commons Drive, according to Waterville police Deputy Chief Bill Bonney.

The men were seen using multiple credit cards, which Bonney said merchants are trained to recognize as suspicious activity. Bonney said they used the stolen numbers and encoded the numbers onto multiple prepaid credit cards.

Bonney said police were called to the store and were told the two men were seen getting into a pickup truck. He said an officer arrived and the two men were seen “leaving at a high rate of speed.” They then drove down Main Street, leading officers on a short chase at speeds of about 35 to 40 mph. However, the two were stopped by traffic and then arrested.

Bencomo-Perez was charged with class C theft and was assigned of bail of $10,000. Chavez-Alvarez was also charged with a class C theft, as well as charges of eluding for failing to stop for an officer, and driving to endanger. His bail was set at $20,000. Neither of them paid their bail, and they were taken to the Kennebec County jail in Augusta.

Bonney wouldn’t disclose the exact sum the two men were allegedly able to steal, but class C crimes stipulate the theft must be larger than $1,000 but not larger than $10,000. Their court appearance is scheduled for May 8, but Bonney said the two men probably will see a judge before then.


While the two men’s addresses list Miami as their home, Bonney said both men are originally from Cuba. He said it is likely Maine was not their only target for theft.

“We deal with this quite often, I would say, people traveling up and down the East Coast doing this,” Bonney said.

He said this type of crime is becoming more common. He said it was difficult to tell if Chavez-Alvarez and Bencomo-Perez stole credit card information from others, because he didn’t think they were telling the whole story. They speak Spanish, and an officer in the department who also speaks Spanish has been interpreting for the department.

“But I would say the two gentlemen were not completely forthcoming with us,” Bonney said.

Bonney said Waterville police had not dealt with the men before.

In September 2016, a similar case took place in which two men from Cuba who were living in Las Vegas were arrested for using misuse of identification for using fake credit cards with stolen numbers. The two men, Alexey Caraballo-Rosado, 35, and Mario Adan Ebanks Benitez, 31, also were arrested at Wal-Mart. The two pleaded guilty to misuse of identification in December.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253


Twitter: @colinoellis

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