Criminal Justice

Did Juror Steal Fellow Juror's Credit Card? Prosecutor Probes New Case During Recess

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A prosecutor trying a credit card theft case in New York City wound up doing double duty after a juror accused another member of the panel of stealing his own credit card on March 8 and using it at stores near the Bronx courthouse over the next few days.

During a trial recess, Assistant District Attorney Jacob Kaplan visited nearby stores with two other investigators and reviewed video footage, after juror John Postrk, 49, complained to the judge in the case on March 10 that he suspected juror Jennifer Mercado, 20, of taking his American Express card from his coat, reports the New York Daily News.

Indeed, the footage showed a woman who appeared to be Mercado using Postrk’s card, the newspaper recounts, relying on court transcripts. Mercado tells the Daily News she charged to Postrk’s account with his permission.

Postrk reportedly suspected Mercado because his account showed charges at stores near the Bronx Hall of Justice, and Mercado had returned to the courthouse with shopping bags from those stores after breaks.

Mercado was removed from the jury and charged with grand larceny, possession of stolen property, identity theft and unlawful use of a credit card. However, Postrk remained on the panel until it reached a verdict, despite a motion for a mistrial by defense attorney Soraya Hurtado.

Her client was acquitted of possessing a stolen credit card but convicted of burglary.

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