Police: Suspect uses stolen phone to buy $138,000 worth of items

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jul 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 20:02:18-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A West Nashville man's lost phone was used to purchase more than $138,000 in goods from Amazon, but an Uber ride by the suspect led to his arrest.

When Randy McKenzie realized his phone was missing, it was already too late. McKenzie believes he left his phone at Billy's Corner, a gas station in Sylvan Park.

It was a Saturday in May of 2018. The following day, McKenzie realized there were several unauthorized charges on his credit card on Amazon. Soon, those charges escalated into goods numbering in the 50s or even more than 100 orders.

"Anywhere from a $80,000 Rolex to an 40,000 Rolex, $2,000 phones, baby clothes," said McKenzie. "It was just bizarre of all the different avenues this guy was going for. He was having them shipped to the same place, which was two doors down from where he lives in Hermitage."

McKenzie was able to cancel the charges and avoided any particularly large costs. However, the thief continued to use his phone to take Uber rides. Until one Uber driver stepped up.

"The Uber driver called me and said where are you located? I can't find your apartment. I go 'whoa, here we go,' I told him the situation, you're about to pick up some crooks," said McKenzie. "I said, 'I need your help, I need to know where you need to take him to. I'll call the police and have them meet you there.'"

During the ride, the Uber driver stopped at a gas station where a police officer was parked. The driver told the officer what was going on.

Police detained Antoine Coleman Jr. According to an arrest affidavit. the suspect said he found the phone on the ground and admitted to making purchases with it on Amazon.

A police spokesperson said Coleman was released. It wasn't until a year later that Coleman was brought into Metro Police custody.

The victim was not happy about it.

"I said, 'You're kidding me. You mean he just let him go after he's done all of this?' We're talking about thousands of dollars that he's charged," said McKenzie.

A spokesperson for Metro Police said warrants placed on Coleman until a fully investigation was completed and the police had a solid case to charge him.

Police charged Antoine Coleman Jr. with felony credit card fraud, identity theft and theft of property.