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COLUMBUS – A 37-year-old Columbus man is on his way to a trial in district court on a charge that he stole credit/debit card information and re-coded it onto phony identification of multiple victims before dipping into their financial accounts in 2017.

Platte County Court Judge Frank Skorupa has scheduled Rayde Olivera for arraignment on a charge of criminal possession of four or more financial transaction devices that were used in connection with withdrawals from victim accounts in Columbus, Hordville and Sioux City, Iowa.

The man is accused 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.

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.

After binding Olivera over for trial, the judge dismissed a Class I misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of a financial transaction device-$500-$1,500 stemming from the account withdrawals.

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.

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Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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