A credit-card thief with a generous streak

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By Todd Martin

You could call him the Philanthropic Thief the Benevolent Bandit or even the Kindhearted Crook, but whatever you call him, don't call him frivolous.

Torrey Smith said when he noticed one of his credit cards was missing a couple of weeks ago, , he wasn't too worried

"I had no idea where it was, and I was about to cancel it, but wanted to buy an airline ticket first," he said. "So, I thought, well I'll wait."

After buying the ticket, Smith then received a call on July 20 from Capital One bank, which had issued the card.

"They said there was some suspicious activity on my card and wanted to verify it," he said. "They read off a couple of charges, including the plane ticket, that I verified and then a two-hundred-and fifty-dollar donation to the March of Dimes.

"At that point I said, 'Whoa, I didn't make that charge.' So I canceled the card."

Smith didn't call the March of Dimes to cancel the payment, instead deciding to go ahead and make the donation.

But the case remains unsolved.

"We started trying to think of ways this charge could've come up," he said.

Was it his realty company's charity of the month?

Was it an annual donation set up to deduct on its own?

Did his wife make the donation and forget to let him know?

No, no and no.

So now he started to poke around a little.

"If you go to the March of Dimes Web site, there are spots for $25, $50, $100 and $250 donations, so it was the biggest one they take online," he said. "I didn't follow up on it though, because who's going to take money from the March of Dimes?"

There are two women in Smith's office who participate in the March of Dimes walk-a-thon each year.

"Joyce Nay and April Ethington do the walk, and it's a great cause," Smith said. "We do like to joke around that Joyce is so diligent in getting donations that she did it, but, of course, she didn't."

So now Smith will wait for his final balance, but no other charges were made before he canceled the account.

"I guess he was just a generous criminal," he said.

However, Smith does still have one question he wants answered.

"I need to find out who this guy was so I can send him the taxable donation receipt for his taxes," he laughed.