BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Two women from New York were arrested in Boardman after they tried to purchase cell phones under a stolen identity.
Police were called about 4:30 p.m. Monday to the Verizon Wireless store on Boardman-Poland Road after a woman attempted to buy six iPhones with a fake driver’s license.
According to a police report, two women, identified as Virginia Gutierrez, 35, and her daughter Jacey Casado, 21, both of Bronx, New York, walked into the store and Gutierrez told the clerk she wanted to add three lines to her service plan. She then presented a driver’s license in the name of a woman from Illinois. The photo on the I.D.matched Gutierrez. Gutierrez also stated she wanted to pay in cash.
The clerk told police something didn’t seem right about the women, so he called the phone number on the account and discovered that the account owner was in Illinois and did not authorize any purchase on her account.
The clerk called police and the women were arrested at the store.
Police found several forms of identification on Gutierrez along with a MasterCard in the name of the woman from Illinois.
Police charged Gutierrez with theft, identity fraud and forgery. Casado was charged with theft.
Both women appeared in Boardman court Tuesday and told the judge a friend drove them from New York to the Verizon store. Police believe the women are part of a multi-state identity fraud ring.
While detectives work to piece the case together, Melissa Ames, with the Better Business Bureau, wonders if the Illinois victim had lost her wallet at some point.
Ames suggests people routinely check their bank and credit card statements, saying even seemingly insignificant charges could be a red flag.
“Maybe it is a few dollars. It is a cup of coffee at a coffee shop. They are just testing the waters to see if that card is valid,” Ames said.
Police said they received a similar identity fraud complaint in Boardman, and the suspects admitted going to stores in Niles and Pennsylvania within the past few days.