Investigators Search For Identity Theft Ring’s Leader
GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Police in Jefferson County have arrested 10 people in an identity theft ring, but they are still looking for one of the alleged ringleaders and three other suspects.
Officials say the suspects broke into businesses, cars and stole from mailboxes in their efforts to steal personal information. The crimes took place between April 2012 through January 2013 in the Denver area and in Jefferson County.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s office has identified 65 victims in the case. One of those victims is Johnny Ostermeier.
“They have my address, name, birthdate, all that kind of stuff, and they even used it with the wrong spelling,” said Ostermeier.
Last July Ostermeier had been working at Plato’s Closet in Lone Tree when the brazen criminals broke in and stole a safe containing the personal information of every employee. Months later he started receiving bounced checks and credit card statements in his name. The charges came out to $6,000 in all.
“There was one charge of $300 on a check. I heard they were buying TVs, a lot of appliances, radios,” Ostermeier said. “It was all under my name.”
Peter Weir, Jefferson County’s district attorney, said the group of criminals used the information they stole from the victims to made fake IDs and checks and also to apply for credit cards.
“They would go and pass them to various merchants for living expenses and frankly to feed drug habits,” Weir said.
The criminals allegedly made their purchases at several retailers, including King Soopers, Safeway, Walmart, Macy’s and Chase Bank. An estimated total cost of what they stole came out to $26,000.
After numerous victims received collection notices, authorities eventually tracked down the suspects. The three ringleaders were described as being Selina Davison, 44, David Williams, 37, and Nathan Lees, 33. Davison remains at large and the other two are in custody.
Weir warned that everyone should take care to protect their personal information, saying “There are predators among us.”
Ostermeier echoed that statement. He said that as he tries to get his life in order, he’s hoping others will learn from his story.
“Definitely keep more track of your stuf, your information. It’s really sacred,” he said.
The district attorney recommends never keeping personal information in your car and placing a lock on your mailbox.
In addition to Davison, arrest warrants are out for Sarah Williams, 31, Brittney Marson, 27, and Thomas Eakin, 33. The following other alleged members of the ring are already in custody:
Andrew Stevens, 28
Stacey Miracle, 39
John Rotzin, 32
Glenn Dodson, 51
Eric Miracle, 40
Jeremy Black, 41
Tamara Reynolds, 49