Monday, October 13, 2008

Police Discover Elaborate State-Wide Identity Theft Ring in Jensen Beach - - 09 Oct 2008

Two people have been arrested after renting apartments and buying cars with bad checks. More arrests are pending.

Police are now saying this was an elaborate state-wide identity theft ring.

Police discovered evidence of a sophisticated identity theft operation being run from an apartment. Detectives found extensive evidence of identity theft, credit card fraud, check fraud, and grand theft. The evidence showed that this operation was the new headquarters for a statewide identity theft ring which operated between Miami and Orlando.

An apartment complex leasing agent told police that a tenant had rented two apartments at two different locations under the same name, Valerie Diana Monroe. Background information on the rental agreements appeared to be fraudulent while a check used to secure one of the apartments was drawn from an account where fraudulent checks were issued under that assumed name, Valerie Diana Moore.

Police said that further investigation revealed that the suspect and an accomplice purchased a car from a local car dealership using another person's identity and checking account information. The suspects possessed the identity of dozens of individuals and made thousands of dollars in purchases under assumed identities.

Det. Jeff Kittredge arrested the two people today after executing a search warrant at one of the apartments located at 951 N.W. Fresco Way in Jensen Beach.

Jermica Sykes, 25, aka Valerie Diana Monroe and charged her with grand theft auto, criminal use of personal identification, obtaining a vehicle with intent to defraud, falsely obtaining credit cards, criminal use of personal identity and an open Orange County warrant for forgery. Bond was set at $117,500

Also arrested was Chad Junior Knight, 27, and charged him with criminal use of personal identity, falsely obtaining credit cards and grand theft auto. Bond was set at $25,000

While Sykes and Knight are in custody, detectives will be contacting other law enforcement agencies in order to see if they commited crimes in other cities. Dozens of identities and personal information were recovered after the search warrant was served at these apartments. More arrests are pending.

By Marianne Wellendorf

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