Seven charged with theft, fraud in Breeze card hacking case

1/3/2014, 6 a.m.
Seven people were arrested on charges related to fraudulent MARTA Breeze cards.

Seven suspects have been arrested by MARTA Police in an illegal Breeze card hacking scheme.

The suspects are Pierre Metteaux, 22, of Chamblee; Jedadia Byrd, 34, of Norcross; Melvin Summers Jr., 45, of Norcross; Christine Carney, 44, of Atlanta; Stephanie Finger, 26, of Norcross; Brenda Small, 42, of Lawrenceville; and Michael Dallas, 33, of Atlanta.

Small was released on Dec. 16 on $7,500 bond.

They were arrested on Dec. 10, Dec. 13 and Dec. 23 and booked at the DeKalb County Jail as part of an ongoing investigation of fraudulent sales of fare cards.

MARTA Police Chief Wanda Dunham said the suspects have been charged with theft, fraud and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO.

Dunham said MARTA takes these crimes very seriously and will continue to investigate each and every case thoroughly.

“We are working closely with the DeKalb District Attorney’s Office and will seek to ensure that those involved are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” she said in a Dec. 27 statement.

To make counterfeit cards, computer hackers bypassed Breeze card security features.

The transit system said that personal information of legitimate Breeze fare card holders was not compromised.

Breeze fare cards should only be purchased at vending machines in MARTA rail stations, at MARTA RideStores or online at itsmarta.com. MARTA says that selling, altering or fraudulently obtaining MARTA fare media is illegal and that counterfeit cards will not be honored.

Anyone with information about the illegal sale of Breeze fare cards can call 404-848-4584.