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ORC 10-30-14




Six accused in $639K bank fraud scheme spanning region
Twenty-nine people from northern Illinois and northwest Indiana are facing state or federal charges accusing them of a wide-ranging bank fraud scheme known as "cracking cards" that utilized both rap music and social media. Six defendants charged in U.S. District Court in Indiana with conspiracy to commit bank fraud allegedly posted Internet rap videos referring to the "cracking cards" scheme and displaying large amounts of cash and expensive items. Members of the alleged scheme on their own or through others supposedly deposited bogus checks into accounts and withdrew money that was advanced by the financial institutions before the checks were rejected.

Second Arrest in Pennsylvania Credit Card Fraud Ring Probe
A second suspect has surrendered to authorities in connection with a statewide credit card fraud ring which authorities say netted tens of thousands of dollars. Cecelia Robinson, 31, surrendered to police in her hometown of Chicago, and will be returned to Pennsylvania to face several felony charges including theft, conspiracy, fraud, and forgery. Last week, Delaware County resident Lovell Davis III was arrested and charged with running the counterfeit ring. The Pennsylvania attorney general charges that Davis made dozens of counterfeit credit cards and then used them to make purchases and get cash. The AG's office says Davis, Robinson, and a third person, already in jail, targeted banks all across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. They say Robinson would rent cars with the credit cards, then travel to banks in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh to engage in the scam.

Cargo Thefts Down, Average Loss Skyrockets
The number of truck cargo thefts in the U.S. fell in the second quarter of the year, but the average loss per heist doubled during the same time, according to a new report from FreightWatch International. The logistics security services provider recorded a total of 208 incidents. The average loss value per incident during the quarter was $321,521 a 104% increase from the third quarter of 2013 and 82% higher than the previous quarter, while the number of thefts declined by 20%.

Cargo Theft Ring Leader arrested in San Antonio, TX
San Antonio Police arrested the suspected leader of a theft ring Wednesday morning accused of stealing 18-wheeler tires across the state. San Antonio Police Department Spokesman Officer Douglas Greene said Joel Vargas, 28, has been stealing the tires for years from as far away as Houston and Austin. Following a lengthy investigation, SAPD investigators were able to gather enough evidence to arrest Vargas and a suspected accomplice, Jose Regalado, 42 Thursday.

3 men caught stealing from Victoria's Secret in Deerbrook Mall  Three men were arrested Monday after they were caught stealing from a lingerie store in Deerbrook Mall, according to Humble police. Arkele Wilson, Theron Davis and Deddrick Demon Arceneaux were charged with organized retail theft. On Sunday, officers received a call for a shoplifting in progress at Victoria's Secret inside the mall, but the suspects fled before police arrived. The same three suspects returned the following day, and employees recognized them and called police again, investigators said. The suspects attempted to flee the scene, but were apprehended. Investigators said the trio could possibly be involved in other thefts that occurred at Victoria Secret stores in Houston, Galveston and Louisiana. If so, additional charges could be filed. Davis, who was dressed as a woman, was given a $5,000 bond. In addition to the theft charge, he was charged with use of a criminal instrument.

Suspected shoe thieves caught on camera pepper spraying Timberland's store manager  Orlando police said they are searching for the three women who robbed a Timberland store on International Drive and pepper sprayed the manager. Investigators said the women put several pairs of shoes inside shopping bags, and when the staff caught on, the store manager tried to grab the merchandise as the women were exiting the store. As the two struggled over the bag, one of the women came back inside and pepper sprayed the manager.

Toronto couple arrested in $3-million credit card fraud
A Toronto couple faces fraud charges after a credit card company discovered more than 100 fraudulent cards totaling $3 million, dating back to 2001. A man and woman face a number of fraud-related charges after Citi Cards Canada was allegedly defrauded of $3 million since 2001. Between May 2001 and August 2014, a couple applied for more than 100 Home Depot credit cards online using other people’s names, police said. Det. Phil Chung of the financial crimes unit said police are investigating whether they used fake names or the names of real people who were unaware of the accounts. The couple would then increase the credit card limits to the maximum amount, and use them to purchase gift cards, appliances, home renovation products and other items at Home Depot, police said. They would pay the credit card bills with cheques without sufficient funds, police said, adding the total fraud against Citi Cards Canada Inc., which backs the Home Depot cards, topped $3 million.

Alleged serial shoplifter wanted in 5 jurisdictions in Georgia
Detectives from at least five jurisdictions want to question an accused serial shoplifter arrested after a dangerous high-speed chase. Snellville, GA Police say Carl Thompson, 30, was speeding on Highway 78 Tuesday morning. When an officer tried to pull him over -- he ran through two red lights and continued going at speeds up to 110 miles an hour. The entire chase was recorded on a police dash camera. The chase only lasted about four minutes because Thompson's truck ran out of gas. Only after officers took Thompson into custody did they realize he was a wanted man in several suburban cities and counties. Whitehead said police believe Thompson has been going into mainly Target stores around the area and stealing high-end big screen TV's. He allegedly carted the product to the back loading dock at the store and then put them in the back of the same truck he was captured in after the chase. Investigators in Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Hall County, Snellville, and Gwinnett County are looking at cases against Thompson. Whitehead says there could be more.

ORC 10-30-14
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