Escort ad bought by suspected thief who used funds from mall heist, police say

One of two young women accused of robbing people outside Coral Square Mall allegedly used a stolen credit card to advertise herself as an escort, according to an arrest report.

Arshantayvia Chinn, 19, admitted to officers she used the card that was stolen during a mall robbery Sunday to purchase her "female escort ad" on classified website Backpage.com, the report said.

Chinn and her alleged accomplice, Shantwanice Chisem, also 19, were arrested in the mall robberies Tuesday when an officer posing as an escort customer found the women at a Tamarac hotel, according to an arrest report.

Chinn and Chisem, who both listed the hotel as their address, were held on charges of grand theft and fraudulent use of a credit card, police said. Chinn also was charged with petty theft, while Chisem was additionally charged with armed robbery and violation of probation in an auto theft, police said.

Coral Springs police had been investigating two heists that happened outside the mall. The latest one happened Sunday, when Chisem allegedly robbed a 77-year-old woman of her purse.

The victim was walking from Coral Square Mall toward her vehicle, when Chisem twice hit the woman across the head with what the woman thought was a firearm, a police report said.

Chisem then pulled the victim's purse from her arm. Once Chisem had the woman's purse, Chisem got into a beige vehicle driven by her accomplice, police said. Chisem later said the weapon she used was a toy gun, police said.

Last month, Chinn and Chisem also allegedly carjacked a 57-year-old woman in the parking lot of Coral Square Mall, police said.

The woman was in her car waiting to pick up her son from his job, when the robbers approached her car. One robber pointed a gun at her face, police said. The victim asked the robbers if she could take her purse, but the robbers told her no and drove away in the car, police said.

As police investigated, they learned that a credit card stolen Sunday was used to pay for two cellphone bills and for several online transactions, including the payment to BackPage.com, police said.

When police subpoenaed BackPage.com for information about the transaction, they learned the payment was for an escort service that had a local telephone number for customers to call.

"Further investigation led to the suspicion that [Chinn] was the individual whose photos were posted to the Backpage ad," police said.

The officer who posed as the escort customer was told by Chinn she was staying at a Tamarac La Quinta Inn, police said. When police arrested Chinn and Chisem, the pair confessed to the holdups, police said. Chisem also admitted she was involved in other armed robberies and carjackings in Coral Springs and Sunrise, police said.

Authorities ask anyone with additional information about the robberies to call Coral Springs police Detective Brian Koening at 954-346-1229.

 

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