Police arrested a 21-year-old Twain Harte man on suspicion of using counterfeit credit cards to buy hundreds of dollars’ worth of gift cards at Applebee’s.
According to police, Mark Hyder entered the Applebee’s restaurant just before 7 p.m. Tuesday and tried to buy gift cards. When the credit card was declined, the employee noticed that the card looked fake.
The employee also noticed that the man trying to use the credit card matched the description of a suspect who had been using counterfeit cards to buy gift cards over the past two months. After another employee confirmed it was the same man, the store manager called police.
When an officer arrived at the restaurant, Hyder ran away. A second officer arrived and found Hyder hiding in blackberry bushes in a nearby Lowe’s parking lot.
Hyder was taken into custody, then taken to Sonora Regional Medical Center for treatment of an ankle he twisted while running and several cuts from blackberry bushes. He also said he hit his head when he fell.
After being released from the hospital, Hyder was transported to the Tuolumne County jail and booked on charges of felony burglary, felony theft of goods with a counterfeit access card, felony forgery of an access card and felony violation of probation.
Hyder has a history of using fake credit cards, police said. He was arrested in June on suspicion of using a false identification card and a counterfeit credit card to rent a hotel room in Sonora. That case still is pending. Hyder also is on felony probation for resisting an officer.
Police said they continue to investigate but have determined that Hyder bought at least $500 worth of gift cards with fraudulent credit cards.