RCMP uncover massive identity-theft operation while probing vehicle-purchase fraud

Two people have been arrested for possession of stolen ­property and fraud-related offences adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, after West Shore RCMP uncovered a large identity-theft and fraud operation.

Following up on a complaint about a fraudulent bank draft being used to purchase a car in Colwood in September, the RCMP found several instances of similar frauds that led them to two suspects in Langford.

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The RCMP have only said so far that the two suspects are male and female and 30 years old, that the investigation is ongoing and that numerous charges will be forthcoming.

Const. Nancy Saggar said investigators tracked down where the suspects were living and on Oct. 21 executed a search warrant at the residence, in the process uncovering “massive” identity theft and fraud. She said it’s too early to say if it’s connected to a larger criminal organization.

Investigators are still combing through thousands of pieces of evidence and trying to determine how many victims are connected to the crime, she said.

The investigation began when officers looking into the Sept. 18 Colwood fraudulent vehicle purchase determined there were four other similar transactions at different dealerships on Vancouver Island.

Police determined one of the vehicles was used in a theft at Adams Storage in View Royal in September where eight lockers were compromised and personal documents, identification cards and valuables were taken.

A search of the suspects’ residence in Langford last week resulted in police recovering the stolen contents of the eight storage units and a “vast amount of evidence of identity and bank fraud.”

According to the RCMP, the stolen personal documentation was likely being used to make fraudulent cards, including B.C. identification cards, B.C. drivers licences, firearms licences, status cards, credit and gift cards and fraudulent bank drafts.

Investigators have seized sophisticated equipment including credit card embossers and credit card PIN machines.

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