SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake County family dependent on food stamps had their EBT card stolen, and Workforce Services may not be able to reimburse the lost funds.
Duane and Shylo Wheeler discovered that their EBT and debit cards were stolen while they were taking senior pictures of their daughter. They left a wallet in their car, and when they returned to the vehicle, they said it had been broken into.
"I was ready to open it up and saw it had been broken into," Shylo said.
The Wheelers said that within a few hours a large amount of money had been spent and the funds from the EBT card had been emptied. The man had located Shylo's driver's license and after taking the birthday and zipcode information, he had changed the pin number for her EBT card and gained complete access to the money for groceries.
Duane said he was charged with the bill from the shopping spree. While the Wheelers admit that leaving their wallet in their car wasn't a wise choice, they said they are frustrated at their situation. Duane said he recently gave up his job and moved his family to Utah so that his daughter could receive medical treatments.
Duane said food stamps help provide the kind of food his daughter needs.
"As a father you do all you can for your family and you make tough decisions and when someone goes on their own to inhibit that just like a horse, you dust yourself off and get back up again," Duane said.
However, Nic Dunn with Workforce Services said protecting the card is the responsibility of the holder.
"We collect and use as little information as possible from the customers that still allows us to confirm their identity," Dunn said.
Ogden Police have since located and arrested Brad Bradford, 33, in connection with the stolen credit cards. However, the arrest doesn't mean that the Wheelers will be reimbursed for the purchases. Workforce Services said they can only reimburse funds if the card is reported stolen before the money is spent.