College Track Athlete Who Allegedly Stole Over $500K from Mall Store In Credit Card Scam, Bragged About New Tesla to Local Newspaper Weeks Before Arrest

A Massachusetts college track star is facing larceny charges weeks after boasting about buying a red Telsa to a local newspaper.

As the school decides whether or not she remains a student, police say the young lady confessed to scamming more than $500,000 from the mall jewelry store where she worked.

The 19-year-old reportedly said she was “sorry” for the embezzlement but wanted to lessen the financial load off her mother, who was at one point supporting her.

College Track star steals $500K
Ariel Foster (Photo: YouTube screenshot/CBS Boston)

On March 8, freshman Ariel Foster, a sprinter on the school’s track team, was arrested in her Lasell University dorm room by Burlington, Massachusetts, police after being accused of stealing $547,187 through fraudulent returns at Lovisa, a costume jewelry store at the Burlington Mall where she worked.

“She would have an item in the store that she would mark up over-priced and then she would return the difference onto a credit card that she owned in her name,” Burlington Police Chief Thomas Browne told reporters last week.

According to Burlington police detectives, they were called to Lovisa on Feb. 22 after receiving notice from the store regarding a credit card machine breach. That was the morning after an evening shift employee who had forgotten to sign out returned to the store and found Foster inside.

When officers reviewed the store’s records, they noticed the transaction — one thought to be for $1 million that had not cleared, CBS Boston reported — was made after that evening shift employee had left.

Reports said her employee later recalled finding Foster after closing on Feb. 2, which was her last day as a Lovisa employee.

The investigation also discovered surveillance footage was tampered according to the store’s IT Team.

Detectives working on the case determined, based on Foster’s bank records, she siphoned the money with eight transactions over three days during a 20-day span, from Feb. 2 to Feb. 22. Police reports state tens of thousands of dollars were transferred from Lovisa to Foster’s bank account, via a debit card.

During that time, the student purchased $5,000 in Louis Vuitton, close to $6,000 in Delta Airline tickets, more than $20,000 to a hotel in Maui, Hawaii, and more than $35,000 for a Tesla car, which she showed off on social media.

Foster took to Instagram to celebrate her Tesla to her followers, posting in the caption, “My biggest flex is being able to buy my own Tesla FULL out under 20 years old.”

Foster was arrested on campus for the theft and initially denied stealing and being at the jewelry store when the crimes took place. However, police say officers told her they saw her bank statements and could connect the crime to her, and she confessed.

According to the police report, she “began to disclose that she took the money to make her mother feel less stressed and to make her family and friends happy. She also stated that she felt unappreciated. Ariel stated that she will take the blame.”

The signs of stress were not apparent during an interview with Dot News weeks earlier.

In an article published on Thursday, Feb. 16, she shared a story of a hardworking track star striving to be like her hero, Olympian Sha’Carri Richardson (but wanting to do everything younger).

Foster was interviewed for making history at her school, running a record time of 7.82s in the preliminary dash and qualifying for the finals at the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). She was recognized for the third time as Rookie of the Week and placed 8th overall, matching Lasell’s record by finishing her race at 7.90s.

In addition to her stats, she spoke about purchasing her new dream car, gushing to the journalist, “Right now, it’s red, but I’m going to wrap it pink—like a soft pink, nothing too bright—and the interior’s white and will be pink, and then I’m actually getting it tinted tomorrow.”

The criminal justice major said she had two jobs, not mentioning the jewelry store by name but saying she was employed at Francesca’s and sold life insurance.

The article reflected a hardworking student, grinding to change her life, even noting she knows “what type of life” she wants for herself.

“I have a really specific lifestyle I want to live. I do not want to stay in Dorchester and definitely don’t want to stay in Massachusetts,” she said.

Her coach, Ben Biello, was also interviewed and doted on how hard she works as a student and as a dedicated athlete.

Biello said he knew about her goal to purchase the electric vehicle.

“She was saying she works a lot because she was determined to have a Tesla before she’s 20 years old,” Biello said. “She’s focused on her goals, whatever they may be—sport related or not. And she just achieved that goal the other day and was able to purchase it.”

Now, how she reached that goal is at the center of the ongoing credit card fraud investigation.

School authorities also investigated Foster, noting she used fraudulent credit cards to pay her tuition.

“We are aware that a Lasell University student was arrested on Wednesday, March 8. The responsibility of all students to comply with local, state, and federal laws applies both on- and off-campus,” Lasell University officials stated.

The university, Burlington police, and Boston police executed search warrants to go through Foster’s property at her home and dormitory.

Browne spoke on what he believes happened in Foster’s case.

“My personal opinion is greed took over. When I first saw the amount, I was surprised. I thought it was a mistake,” Browne assessed and said. “At this time, there is no indication or belief that she did not act alone.”

Browne further questioned what her parents were thinking when she started buying the expensive items.

“If one of my children came home and said they are trying to buy a Tesla while they are trying to go to school, that’s certainly going to raise those flags for me,” he said.

Foster’s bail was set at $1,000, with the caveat she never returns to the store or mall and stays away from all the victims impacted by her act. According to NBC 10, her lawyer said that Foster did not have a criminal record before this crime. She is still enrolled at her school.

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