COLUMBUS – A 37-year-old Columbus man is accused of stealing the credit/debit card information from multiple victims in several communities while tapping their accounts by making fraudulent purchases at a local discount store.

Defendant Rayde Olivera has been charged with criminal possession of more than four or more financial transaction devices and unauthorized use of a financial transaction device -- $500-$1,500 -- in connection with withdrawals from victim accounts in Columbus, Hordville and Sioux City, Iowa.

Olivera is suspected of stealing just under $1,200 from five victims while making purchases at Wal-Mart Supercenter in Columbus over a period from early July until mid-October.

Bond was set for Olivera at $25,000, 10 percent allowed for release, during a brief hearing Monday in Platte County Court.

The criminal possession charge is a Class 2A felony with a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Fraudulent use of credit/debit cards is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Judge Frank Skorupa scheduled the defendant for status hearing on the charges March 12.

According to court documents, a Columbus Police investigation got underway in early August with a report that credit/debit card information stolen from a Hordville victim had been used in Columbus.

Investigator Heath Haynes reported that multiple purchases had been made at the local store using the stolen information. The investigator later learned that Grand Island Police had identified Olivera as a suspect with the use of a confidential informant.

Photos of Olivera provided by Grand Island confirmed the city man was the suspect seen in Wal-Mart’s video surveillance, Haynes wrote in his probable cause arrest statement.

“Olivera is seen on surveillance video swiping a card at the self-checkout Wal-Mart,” Haynes reported.

“The surveillance video also clearly shows that Olivera was in possession of a card that was encoded with the (five victims) information even though all five victims still had their credit/debit cards in their possession at the time of the transactions,” the investigator said.