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Fraudster targets 'America's toughest sheriff'

Laura Segall / Reuters, file

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, shown in January, says he has been the victim of credit card fraud.

Published at 4:20 a.m. ET: PHOENIX -- Controversial Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio, who styles himself "America's toughest sheriff" for his relentless pursuit of criminals, said on Tuesday that he had himself become a victim of credit card fraud.

Maricopa County's sheriff said his credit card information had been used to buy $291 in groceries in Chicago -- a city Arpaio said he had not visited in years.

Arpaio, who has achieved headlines for housing county detainees in a "Tent City" jail and for sweeps targeting illegal immigrants across metropolitan Phoenix, said fraudsters used his Discover card last week to shop at a Jewel supermarket.

A controversial plan from Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio will send armed members of his volunteer posse to some Phoenix schools to provide security. Oralia Ortega, of KPNX-TV reports.

"I haven't been to Chicago since I was a young federal narcotics agent in 1957 ... so I sure couldn't have been buying groceries in that supermarket," Arpaio told Reuters. "This seems to be a widespread problem across our nation."

He said he was alerted to the scam by Discover and that no arrests had been made.

Arpaio was swept to a sixth term in office in November by supporters of his hard-line stance on crime and illegal immigration in the Phoenix area. He is also fighting lawsuits from the government and Hispanic drivers who accuse him of civil rights violations and racial profiling, which he denies.

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