CRIME

Sandy police break up ID theft and fraud ring with as many as 200 victims around the state

Feb 20, 2024, 10:51 PM | Updated: Feb 21, 2024, 6:41 am

SANDY — Sandy police confirmed Tuesday that they made 19 arrests in a suspected identity theft ring with as many as 200 victims around the state.

According to Sgt. Greg Moffitt, the investigation began with leads about possible drug activity at an apartment complex at 11251 S. State Street and a license plate number connected to a vehicle burglary that also tied back to the same apartment.

“Honestly it was just old-fashioned, good police work, like surveillance that you see in the TV shows — sitting around and watching and waiting,” Moffitt told KSL TV.

Moffitt said officers after further investigating obtained probable cause to execute search warrants on the property.

“It was basically just a fraud ring,” Moffitt said. “It’s basically two apartments in this apartment complex that weren’t being used as residences – they were being used as like a headquarters for operation – it’s basically how I would explain it.”

According to police, officers recovered drugs as well as a large amount of mail, forms of identification, checks, and tax documents like W-2 forms believed to have been stolen from the mail as well as in-vehicle burglaries across the state, including in Carbon, Emery, Duchesne, Summit and Washington counties.

“There is a pile of evidence that is still being processed right now,” Moffitt said.

The motive for the alleged crimes remained unclear, police said.

“With this case still ongoing, that’s yet to be seen — what really was their intention,” Moffitt said.

Moffitt said officers were still seeking two additional individuals they believe were connected to the ring and they were also in the process of notifying the nearly 200 victims in the case that their information may have been compromised.

As investigators hoped to uncover more answers, they also were grateful they were able to make a bust of this scale.

“We feel like that’s a win on our end to kind of like, for a lack of a better term, nip it in the bud,” Moffitt said. “You’re getting handed this puzzle and being able to put that puzzle together and come out with an outcome like this — man, it’s awesome.”

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Sandy police break up ID theft and fraud ring with as many as 200 victims around the state