Local restaurant owner says he only has slight resemblance to man in Secret Witness photo | RecordCourier.com

Local restaurant owner says he only has slight resemblance to man in Secret Witness photo

by Kurt Hildebrand

Gardnerville restaurant owner Tony Pastini said he isn’t the man who’s photo taken at a bank has been published by media outlets around the state.

Pastini, who owns Kim Lee’s Sushi, Tony’s Chicago Deli and Mike’s Wiener World said his customers have been asking him if he’s the man ever since the photo was distributed statewide as part of a search for a man who was using stolen debit/ATM cards to buy money orders and make withdrawals from bank machines.

Pastini points out he has a tattoo on his forearm, a much smaller nose and different colored glasses.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office joined in a statewide search on Thursday for a 40-50-year-old man.

Secret Witness is offering a $1,000 reward.

Sgt. Jim Halsey said the suspect used the cards in July and August at Money Express Center machines at local Walmart stores to purchase and redeem money orders under fraudulent names.

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Halsey said the loss in Douglas County is up to $5,000, but there may be other unreported withdrawals.

Halsey said the cards have been traced to victims who reported their cards stolen.

In some cases, Halsey said, the victims were still in possession of their cards.

“Investigators believe the suspect has the ability to manufacture cards using valid victim account information,” Halsey said.

Incidents have occurred in Douglas and surrounding counties in Northern Nevada as well as Las Vegas, he said.

The suspect is described as a 40-to-50-year-old man of Middle Eastern or Hispanic descent, heavy set, with dark, short hair and wearing wire-rimmed glasses.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Ed Garren at (775) 782-9908 or Secret Witness at (775) 782-7463.

Calls to Secret Witness are anonymous.