BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– Police in Boulder are warning people to lock their vehicle doors and remove all valuables items like purses and wallets when leaving those vehicles because they could be a target for an ID theft ring.
The theft ring is believed to be involved in three cases in Boulder and more than 50 cases in other jurisdictions around the Denver metro area. So far the thieves are responsible for approximately $100,000 in thefts.READ MORE: Englewood Police: Officer-Involved Shooting Takes Place Outside Apartment Complex
Investigators believe at least two male suspects forcibly enter victim vehicles by breaking windows and then stealing purses and wallets which were left visible in the cars.
The suspects then deposit and cash the victim’s checks using the stolen IDs and often use wigs and other disguises when dealing with banks.
Paula Pearlman is a victim who is dealing with all the issues that come from having your identity stolen which includes cancelling her bank accounts.
“First thing I did was call the bank because I knew that’s what they were after more than anything,” said Pearlman. “I immediately knew my purse was gone.”
Police in Boulder said the break-ins happen even when the victim is gone for a short time.
“That victim had taken her dog and was going to go for a hike when she came back from her hike, her window was smashed,” said Boulder Police spokeswoman Kim Kobel.
“If you plan to leave your purse for any length of time you can’t do it,” said Pearlman.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
Police believe the suspects are targeting fitness centers like Boulder Lifetime Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness. They look for valuables inside cars and break the windows. When they’re lucky they find a checkbook.
“There was my checkbook so they’ve written $12,000 worth of checks,” said Pearlman.
It’s believed the suspects are using newer-model SUVs when they make deposits at drive-up bank windows. Some of the vehicles that have been used include a new mint-green Ford Explorer with tinted windows, a white SUV and a black Infinity SUV.
Photos of suspects who appear to be females but police believe they are men. It’s possible that the suspects in the photos are wearing wigs or are otherwise disguised.
“I think there are some questions about whether they are men and they’re going through the drive thru and disguising themselves as women, wearing wigs, etc.” said Kobel.
During the past two weeks the suspects have trespassed into vehicles and stolen IDs every single day somewhere in the Denver metro area.
Anyone with information about the crimes or the suspects is asked to call the Boulder Police Department at 303-441-3333 or to email us at BouldersMostWanted@bouldercolorado.gov.
Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimeshurt.com.MORE NEWS: Change To Level Clear Is 'Exciting For Everybody' At Denver Museum Of Nature And Science
Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on suspects may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.