Racine police say a 32-year-old man is facing felony identity theft charges after he stole another man’s cash card and hacked his PIN to withdraw money from the man’s bank account and then danced with joy when it worked.
A warrant was issued Wednesday for Jesse Wessel, of Racine, when he failed to appear for his initial appearance to face one felony charge of identity theft; three misdemeanor charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and one misdemeanor count of fraud against a financial institution. If convicted, he faces up to nine years in prison and/or up to $50,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint, Wessel in August 2015 obtained a man’s debit card and PIN while the man was serving a short jail sentence in another county. When the man returned home and checked his bank statements, he discovered fraudulent activity related to his debit card that included ATM withdrawals and purchases at a local gas station.
Bank surveillance video depicted a man – later identified as Wessel – dancing at an ATM after he successfully withdrew money. Photos from the gas station didn’t show the party using the stolen debit card at the pump, but the car was the same one in the ATM footage. Photos also matched those from the bank.
The complaint against Wessel was filed September 1, and a summons was issued for Wessel to appear. He was not in court Wednesday, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.