By CHELSEY POLLOCK
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY -- Over the course of seven months, police say a Derry man stole almost $3,000 from his elderly parents and charged another $8,000 to credit cards he opened in his father’s name.
Joseph J. Summa, 45, of 15 Evelyn Ave. in Derry is charged with 10 felonies, including six counts of identity theft and single counts of forgery and theft.
Between September 2009 and April 2010, police say Summa took $2,750 from his parents using stolen checks and cash advances from stolen credit cards, according to court documents.
In April 2010, Summa is said to have opened another eight store credit cards using the name he and his father share, in combination with the elder Joseph Summa’s date of birth and Social Security number, according to a police affidavit. More than $8,000 were charged to those cards, the affidavit says.
Summa lives on Evelyn Avenue with his parents, Jean and Joseph P. Summa, both 69 years old, according to court documents.
Jean Summa first suspected the forgeries and thefts in March, court documents say, after receiving credit card statements with sizable balances for accounts that should’ve been zeroed out.
Jean Summa confronted her son, who denied using the cards, but she later found them in his wallet, the affidavit says.
In late April, the affidavit says that Jean Summa was contacted by a credit bureau employee with questions about numerous cards opened under the name “Joseph Summa” for stores like Sears, Radio Shack, JCPenney and Walmart. Though the name on the cards did not include a middle initial, police said each application used his father’s Social Security number and at times his date of birth.
When confronted by his mother about the cards, the younger Joseph Summa said, “I had to do what I had to do,” according to the affidavit.
Police say Summa was caught on surveillance cameras at least four times in Derry making fraudulent purchases, according to the affidavit.
He later told police he did make a number of the charges and said he initially took the cards from a filing cabinet at his parent’s home in September but did not use them right away, the affidavit says.
“Summa reported that he was being harassed and threatened by an individual,” the affidavit says. “Summa went on to say that around the time he started to run out of money to pay this individual, he took his parents’ credit cards and checks.”
Summa was arraigned in Derry District Court on Wednesday, where he was held on $10,000 cash bail. His probable cause hearing is scheduled for Jan. 26.