Police Make Arrest in Bank Card Thefts

Man accused of rummaging through unattended purses on campus and taking banks cards

A 34-year-old Durham man was arrested and charged Friday with identification theft and larcenies on Duke’s campus.

Police say Kayin Navar Wilkes dug through purses and wallets sitting unattended in plain view in Duke University Hospital and nearby research buildings and removed financial transaction cards. The incidents occurred in June through Thursday.

“He’ll walk into an office and if he sees a wallet or pocketbook laying around, he’ll go through it and remove bank cards,” said Duke Police Investigator Art Holland, who searched with a probation officer Friday to locate Wilkes at an East Main Street apartment in Durham.

Wilkes is charged with two counts of identification theft, two counts of financial card fraud, three counts of misdemeanor larceny and obtaining property by false pretense. He is booked in the Durham County Jail on $50,000 bond.

Other charges are pending, police say.

“While we are always disappointed when such crimes occur in our environment, the prompt and thorough investigation by our police department is commendable,” said Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration and emergency coordinator.

Duke community members are reminded to stow personal property and not leave valuables unattended. Find tips on personal and property safety on the Duke Police website.