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ORC 2-6-15




Update - Manhattan DA announces hundreds of charges against $700,000 Apple gift card identity theft ring led by 4 Apple employees and Dental office receptionist  Following an investigation led by the Manhattan DA's Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau, five individuals were arrested for allegedly stealing personal data belonging to 200 victims, which let them steal thousands of dollars through a credit card scheme, according to a release by Vance's office. The Manhattan (NYC) district attorney announced indictments today against four former Apple retail store employees and a dental office receptionist, accusing them of defrauding Barclays Bank of of $700,000 through fraudulently-obtained Apple gift cards. The alleged scheme included employees from stores in New York state and New Jersey, and originated with stolen personal information from over 250 dental patients. The personal information was used to obtain instant on-line credit from Barclays which, in turn, was used to purchase Apple gift cards, ultimately used to buy Apple products at retail stores. The indictment contains 394 counts against the five people, and took two and a half years to untangle. Indicted were Devin Bazile, 30, Sharniqkwa Dukes, 24, and Joshua Haughton, 28, all working at unnamed stores. Also indicted was Ahmeen Evans, 26 of the Short Hills store, and Annie Vuong, 27, a dental receptionist. According to the DA, between May and September 2012 Vuong fed patients information to Bazile, who used it to obtain instant credit from Barclay's on-line Web site. The credit authorization codes could have been directly used to buy Apple products. But the indictment says Bazile shared the codes with Haughton, and the two fed the codes to Dukes and Evans in order to help conceal the original fraud. Dukes and Evans allegedly purchased Apple gift cards to further conceal the fraud. The DA's statement doesn't say who later used the gift cards to make purchases of Apple products that ranged from $2,000 to $7,000. Interestingly, in his statement DA Cyrus Vance Jr. said, "Using stolen information to purchase Apple products is one of the most common schemes employed by cybercrime and identity theft rings today." He added that it takes just one insider to set an identity theft ring in motion, "which then tries to monetize the stolen information by purchasing Apple goods for resale or personal use."

Fencing Operation busted in Delaware County - 'Two Stash' houses may be connected - Stolen goods from Jersey -Pittsburgh - Virginia  Investigators say the search of a home in Lansdowne, Delaware County on Thursday is connected to an alleged stash house discovered in North Philadelphia back in January. Police in Upper Merion, Montgomery County are leading the investigation and were present for both searches. In a statement issued late Thursday, Upper Merion police said the Lansdowne search came from information gathered during the raid in North Philadelphia. Inside the home on Greenwood Avenue in Lansdowne, police said they found stolen merchandise from Toys R Us, Lowes and a number of other stores from across the region. Following the raid in North Philadelphia, police had said they found items stolen from the King of Prussia area, along with New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Virginia. Inside the home on Opal Street in North Philadelphia, police said they found items ranging from a hot water heater to crystal lamps. Investigators now say they believe this is an "organized retail theft operation" and a number of arrests are possible.

ORC couple arrested in multi-state refund scheme in OK hitting Tractor Supply Stores  Tractor Supply locations across the country were on high alert after several stores were targeted by a fraud ring. According to the corporate internal loss prevention bulletin, 36-year-old Wendy Brewer and 36-year-old Justin Reed were part of a large refund fraud ring, which began in December. Over the past 45 days, stores in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee were allegedly targeted by the pair. The company identified Brewer and Reed as the ones behind the scheme. Authorities say Reed would call the store claiming to have a bottle of weed killer that didn't work. Once the pair arrived at a store, police say Brewer would enter the store and ask where the weed killer was stored. Then the pair would take a bottle to the cash register to get a refund of $100. On Tuesday, police were called to Tractor Supply in Ponca City after employees inside the store noticed two customers who fit the couple's descriptions. Police arrested Reed and Brewer for obtaining cash by false pretenses.

ORC Trio traveling Southwest coast Florida on the loose in rental car  North Port Police responded Sunday to thefts at Sports Authority and Ulta Beauty in the Cocoplum Plaza. Three people filled Dillard's bags with items from Sports Authority, then left without paying. They put the bags into a silver Dodge Journey and removed the Florida tag 0005LCF from the back of the vehicle, which was a rental, according to police. The individuals then went next door to Ulta, placing perfum and cologne into three Ulta bags, according to police. The suspects ran outside and got into the vehicle. They headed north on U.S. 41. Anyone with information can contact Detective Sean Viara at 941-429-7322, or

Professional Romanian Shoplifting Gang of 4 with over 50 convictions jailed in the UK  A gang of professional thieves who travelled the country stealing high value items from shops and supermarkets have been allowed to remain in the UK, after a judge ruled she was unable to deport them. One of the Romanian men has previously been returned to his homeland under a voluntary deportation after serving a prison sentence for thefts in the UK. The four, who have more than 50 convictions of theft between them in towns and cities across the country, have been behind bars since their arrest following the Fulwood theft on December 21. Judge Heather Lloyd said she could not deport the four as their sentences were shorter than 12 months but said any future sentencing judge would look at the issue, should they return to court.

Stop & Shop Pharmacy Intern in Agawam, MA accused of stealing thousands of hydrocodone pills  A Suffield, Conn. woman has been arrested after a security officer allegedly witnessed her pocket hundreds of pain killers behind the counter at a Stop & Shop pharmacy in Agawam. Kristine Kiely, 26, was arraigned in Westfield District Court Thursday on charges of larceny over $250 by a single scheme, a felony. Kiely, who court documents identify as an intern at the pharmacy inside the Stop & Shop at 1282 Springfield St., reportedly stole at least 16 bottles of hydrocodone over six months. Kiely is accused of taking the pills on 14 different dates in early 2014 and late 2013. Each bottle of hydrocodone, An opioid and painkiller derived from codeine, contained 100 pills. Most incidents of theft were captured by store security cameras.

Police Charge Man in Theft of $700 Worth of Formula From Pathmark in Berwyn, NJ 

Man stole 36 bottles of cough syrup from CVS in Meriden, CT

Serial shoplifter rips off license plate as she flees from Kohl's in Whitehall Township, PA

Tennessee couple accused of stealing 57 Blocks of Cheese from Walmart

ORC 2-6-15
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