Police: Man busted in Applebee's scam bought $500 worth of gift cards

A Twain Harte man suspected of using counterfeit credit cards to buy more than $500 worth of gift cards at a Sonora County Applebee's Restaurant was arrested after a chase Tuesday night.

At 6:55 p.m., Mark Hyder, 21, entered the Applebee's to purchase gift cards but the credit card he was using was declined, according to Sonora Police Chief Mark Stinson.

An employee told police he noticed the card was fake and recognized Hyder from a posted description of a man who had been using counterfeit credit cards to buy hundreds of dollars worth of gift cards over the past couple months.

After a second employee corroborated the first worker's suspicion, a manager called the police.

When the first officer arrived, Hyder ran from the scene, Stinson said.

A second officer responding to the call located Hyder hiding in a blackberry bush, according to Stinson.

Hyder, who complained of twisting an ankle during the pursuit, hitting his head in a fall and incurring abrasions in the blackberry bush was taken to a nearby medical center where he was cleared before being booked into Tuolumne County Jail. He was charged with felony burglary, felony theft of goods with a counterfeit access card, felony forgery of an access card, and felony violation of probation.

Hyder had previously been arrested June 16, when he tried to use a counterfeit credit card to rent a room at a Sonora hotel. He is also on felony probation for resisting an officer, Stinson said.


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