New Mexico Dad Takes Baby & Girlfriend On Halloween Costume Heist

Seth McKelvy-Cothren allegedly used fake credit cards to buy bags full of pricey treats.

October 30, 2018

Seth McKelvy-Cothren [Albuquerque Police Department]; screenshot from video [KRQE]

Seth McKelvy-Cothren [Albuquerque Police Department]; screenshot from video [KRQE]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — A New Mexico man pulling tricks on a chain of Halloween costume shops got caught using fake credit and gift cards to buy bags full of costly outfits and decorations.

According to the Albuquerque Police Department, Seth McKelvy-Cothren hit the Spirit Halloween Store on October 24 and stocked up on $1,300 worth of goodies. He allegedly paid for his haul with a bogus card. After his successful shoplifting spree, he returned the following day and did it again, leaving the store with additional merchandise.

Cops claim McKelvy-Cothren then made his stealing a family affair.

The manager of a second Spirit Halloween location in the city told KRQE that McKelvy-Cothren and his girlfriend, Lona Armstrong, came to her store with their five-month-old son in tow this time.

They scooped up more items, and he handed over a credit card containing no name or numbers, arousing employees' suspicions.

"When we went to scan it, it actually didn't even scan or work,” said the unidentified manager. “He was like, ‘Well I know the credit card number,’ and we're like, ‘We can't do that.’"

But the manager could call the cops, who caught up with the family “down the road.”

“From what I heard, he had several different credit cards in his car,” noted the Halloween Spirit manager.

Police also searched Armstrong and found gift cards stuffed in her bra.

Both McKelvy-Cothren and Armstrong have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and tampering with evidence. The father faces an additional charge of identity theft.

"This is merchandise that you don't need ,and it is a little pricey, so [thieves] do come in here and try to get away with $40 to $50 costumes a lot," said the store manager. "We're onto this and we do want it to stop."

Read more: KRQE

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