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ORC 4-6-16




New York, NY: Bikini model charged in $2M identity-theft ring
An identity theft ring that included a sultry bikini model racked up $2 million in fraudulent charges to bankroll lavish trips, luxury cars and fancy shopping sprees, authorities said Tuesday. Curvy vixen Patricia Perez-Gonzalez, 26, her boyfriend Alberto Companioni, 31, and others allegedly opened 40 American Express Platinum cards using their victims' stolen personal information, the Manhattan DA's office said. The ring primarily targeted the elderly, officials said. The Miami-based couple flew to New York, California and Hawaii, dined at pricey restaurants like Bagatelle and blew tens of thousands at Hermes, Burberry, Louis Vuitton and the Apple store, court records show.

The Northern Nevada Repeat Offender Program Team Busts ORC Ring in Reno/Sparks area
A group of five were arrested after they were accused of running a scam to obtain cash or store credit at local Home Depot, Lowe's and Walmart stores in Washoe County. James Hotta, 51, was charged with three counts of burglary, three counts of conspiring to commit a burglary and three counts of obtaining money or property under false pretenses. He was facing sentencing for other felony cases and was being held on a $100,000 cash only bail. Michael Raymundo, 41, and Leslie Fernandez, 38, both faced similar charges. Sparks police were also searching for Terry Audiss, 43, and Johnathan Rascon, 27, who they believe fled to California. An arrest warrant was pending for Rascon, police said in a news release Tuesday. All five people were identified as suspects in an organized retail theft ring operating in the Reno-Sparks area, authorities said in the news release. Officers with the Northern Nevada Repeat Offender Program team were investigating the theft ring operation. Authorities said they believe the five suspects were working together and were involved in fraudulent bar code scanning to get money or store credit upon return. The included detectives from the Sparks Police Department, the Reno Police Department and the Washoe County Sheriff's Office. The team investigates repeat offenders.

Aurora, CO: $1,400 Drone Grab & Run
Aurora Police are searching for two men who tried stealing three drones from a Remote Control Hobbies store on Monday afternoon. The thieves are seen on surveillance video walking around the store looking at remote control cars and planes. Within about five minutes, they head to a front display, featuring the popular "Phantom" drone series. The men then pick up three boxes and run out the front door. Two employees ran after them. The thieves got away with a Phantom 4, which cost $1,400.

Ocala, FL: Sam's Club employee arrested on 13 counts of grand theft from the store
A woman was arrested Monday and charged for 13 counts of grand theft from the local Sam's Club store. According to the Ocala Police Department report, an officer was called to the business in reference to a possible theft. A store loss prevention officer told the OPD official that during a routine audit it was discovered that seven Dyson Cinetic vacuum cleaners, valued at $422 each; four Serta Queen mattresses, each worth $414.65; and two Serta King mattresses, valued at $493.57 each; were missing. In reviewing surveillance video and receipts, it was discovered that employee Rashma Kathwaru had conducted 13 separate fake refunds for the items and deposited the money to her personal credit cards and a gift card, the report states.

Buffalo, NY: Buffalo State students accused in credit card fraud
A SUNY Buffalo State student from Yonkers accused of forging dozens of credit and debit cards has been indicted on half a dozen charges and arraigned before State Supreme Court Justice Boller, Acting Erie County DA Michael J. Flaherty Jr. reports. Kelsey Dapaah, 25, has been charged with five counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and one count of criminal possession of a forgery device. He will return April 22 for a pre-trial conference before Justice Boller. Dapaah and two other Buffalo State students, Mohamed Kaba and Nkemjika Ogbuaga, both 23 and from Yonkers, are accused of manufacturing forged credit and debit cards with stolen personal ID information and using them for purchases locally and online.

ORC 4-6-16
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