Suspected SM Identity Thief Caught at Best Buy

The local victim of credit card fraud helped police apprehend a suspect last week when he tracked the fraudulent purchases to the Best Buy store to which they were being delivered.
That information resulted in the arrest of a 32-year-old Montrose man based on this alleged identity theft and a variety of other allegations uncovered during a search of his home.
According to Sgt. Tim Tebbetts with San Marino Police Department, the victim, a San Marino resident, reported on June 24 that the suspect had used his Best Buy credit card to fraudulently make $20,000 in online purchases and was scheduled to pick up the items at the store in Corona.
“He somehow was able to access that account without the victim’s actual card and make orders with it,” said SMPD Det. Brian Wong.
The $20,000 purchase included a variety of Apple computer products, Wong added, and was not a single large purchase.
Detectives were waiting at the store when the suspect arrived, Tebbetts said, and discovered the suspect also possessed a fake driver’s license that used the victim’s information. Wong said the victim had other fraudulent charges made to his accounts and was investigating whether they came from the same source.
A search of the suspect’s apartment in Montrose yielded equipment used to make fake driver’s licenses and ID cards, fraudulently made credit cards, blank credit cards, around 100 fake driver’s licenses in some stage of completion, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, according to Tebbetts.
The suspect is charged with identity theft, burglary, possession of fraudulent driver’s licenses and counterfeiting the state seal and was booked into the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department jail. Wong said the suspect posted bail on Sunday and has not yet been arraigned.
Wong added the suspect has a litany of prior convictions, most recently for identity theft, false impersonation and possession of a forged ID in February 2014, for which he was sentenced to a year in jail and three years of formal probation.
SMPD is searching through evidence to identify other victims and urges anyone with additional information to contact Wong at (626) 300-0719.
“[The victims] are from all over SoCal,” Wong said of the fraudulent IDs and stolen information. “Some of them are from the San Gabriel Valley. There’s just so many of them.”

Leave a Reply