Movie Theater Thief Deserves 16 Years for His Creatively Creepy Crimes

movie theater aisleImagine sitting in a movie theater, minding your own business and catching a flick, but when you get to the restaurant later in the evening, you realize your credit cards are missing. That must've been the experience of many people after Anthony Johnson robbed them in the creepiest way. Authorities say Johnson crawled along movie theater floors to steal credit cards from women's purses. He's now been sentenced in federal court in Connecticut to 16 years in prison, after being convicted last year of multiple counts of credit card theft and identity theft. Ugh.

The 50-year-old thief from Philadelphia stole credit cards from moviegoers at theaters in Greenwich, Fairfield and Colchester between 2008 and 2010. And after he acquired victims' credit cards, it got even more disturbing ...


Apparently, Johnson and female accomplices would use computer equipment to make fake driver's licenses with the victim's name and an accomplice's photo. Then they'd use the stolen credit cards to buy tens of thousands of dollars' worth of clothing, jewelry and electronics, and for gambling. SO twisted!

But most definitely an example of how identity theft is really running rampant today. As horrifying as this story is, I'm astounded by Johnson's, uh, creative strategy. But at the same time, how freaky to think you could be stolen from this way. Reminds me of when a group of friends and I handed over our bill (cash, thank goodness!) at a restaurant to a complete stranger who was pretending to be a manager. When we found out he was really a thief, we felt so taken advantage of. That's exactly how I'm sure many women who were victims of Johnson and his team felt.

That said, thank goodness his sentence is no joke. At the very least, it's heartening to know that authorities are taking not just theft but identity theft so seriously. Because as bizarro and smirk-worthy as a slithering movie theater thief may be, I'm sure this man really did make a mess of his victims' finances.

Have you ever been robbed from right under your nose without realizing it until later on?


Image via Monalyn Gracia/Corbis
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