Is Your Identity At Risk? Merced Police Break Up I.D. Theft Ring
MERCED, Calif. (KMPH) —
Imagine having your credit cards, debit card, even your identity stolen. Unfortunately, that's the case for hundreds of people who police say are victims of an identity theft ring. Police have arrested James Rumley. Detectives say Rumley and several others are behind the I.D. theft ring. Rumley was released early from prison and on parole when he was arrested last week.
Police say this is a huge identity theft ring, with possibly hundreds of victims for all over the state, including Fresno. Police are searching for a woman who was caught on camera at a pawn shop with Rumley.
Merced Police say surveillance video shows James Rumley walking into "Central Valley Pawn". A few minutes later a woman wearing sunglasses walks in. The two look at jewelry and ask Brandon Gose for help, but Gose recognized Rumley right away.
"He did come in earlier that day by himself," says Brandon Gose, "He was looking a lap tops and scoping stuff out."
The surveillance video shows Gose selling Rumley and the woman two necklaces. They bought them with a credit card and even showed Gose an I.D.
"The I.D. matched the credit card, matched the picture of the girl, which is the one they're looking for," adds Gose.
Gose says the next day he got a call from a sheriff's department in Southern California saying the store ran a stolen credit card. Police say they traced the card to Rumley and the woman. However, that's wasn't the last time Gose saw the two, because they went back to the store. He wrote down their license plate number, called police and let family members who own a pawn shop in Atwater know about the two. Sure enough, Rumley walked into the Atwater store as well.
"If we didn't call Atwater or anybody I think they would be gone by now," says Gose.
Police say Rumley was arrested outside the Atwater pawn shop. Since he's a repeat offender police searched him and his car. Police say they found several credit cards, a computer, a machine to stamp numbers on credit cards and possibly meth.
Without Gose's help police say Rumley might still be out there right now.
"It's a good thing, because I wouldn't want that to happen to me my identity being stolen," says Gose.
The pawn shops where the stolen credit cards were used might also be victims. Police are trying out if the shops can get their merchandise or money back.
If you see the woman who was with Rumley at the pawn show you are asked to call the Merced Police Department tip line at 209-385-4725.