Here’s a roundup of recent noteworthy arrests and alerts from local law enforcement agencies:
Car bought with stolen credit card
OXNARD – Police arrested a man and woman Tuesday night after learning an Oxnard car dealership had sold them a 2018 Toyota Camry paid for with a victim’s stolen credit card and ID, the Oxnard Police Department reported.
The case stemmed from an auto burglary reported to the Los Angeles Police Department on July 2, during which the car owner’s identification cards, credit cards and checks were stolen from the vehicle, authorities said.
On the same day, the suspects, identified as a 38-year-old man from Inyo County and an Oxnard woman, 30, reportedly bought the Camry with the stolen card.
The fraudulent purchase was reported to Oxnard police on Tuesday. Detectives soon found the vehicle, with the pair inside, in the 2000 block of North Rose Avenue. Both suspects were taken into custody without incident and arrested on suspicion of various felonies, authorities said.
Detectives dismantle alleged burglary crew
MOORPARK – Ventura County Sheriff’s detectives recently arrested three suspected members of an organized theft ring, capping a seven-week investigation sparked by a residential burglary call.
In late May, patrol deputies in Moorpark responded to a call in the Championship Hills neighborhood where a rash of home burglaries had taken place over the past 18 months. The incidents were believed to be the work of a so-called “South American theft group,” sheriff’s officials said, referring to skilled teams of three or four members who come from Chile, Colombia and other South American countries. The teams use specific tactics during residential and commercial burglaries, along with home invasion and business robberies, that maximize success, authorities said.
During the May call, deputies arrested a man they believed was a lookout driver for one of the groups on minor charges. Later, they learned more than $100,000 worth of property had been taken that evening from a different home in the neighborhood.
A joint investigation by Moorpark and Thousand Oaks detectives ultimately led to the July 14 arrest of three men with ties to Colombia, age 21 to 33, in the cities of Upland and Chino in San Bernardino County. Authorities seized tens of thousands of dollars worth of stolen jewelry and other evidence related to the Moorpark burglary, officials said. All three men have pleaded not guilty to felony residential burglary and conspiracy charges and remained in Ventura County jail with bail set at $100,000 to $300,000, jail records showed.
EDD cards targeted at Conejo Valley ATMs
THOUSAND OAKS – Invisible skimming devices continue to be a problem at Bank of America ATMs in Thousand Oaks, authorities said, as fraudsters target unemployment debit cards distributed by the bank on behalf of the state.
Ventura County Sheriff’s officials had previously reported the issue in April, when they also released a surveillance image of two suspects installing an ATM skimmer; the men have not yet been identified. The “deep insert” skimmer devices involve a wafer-thin reader in the machine’s card slot and an external pin-hole camera to capture PIN numbers. Data collected by the skimmers is used later to make withdrawals from the victim’s account.
Authorities found six skimmers in April alone at walk-up and drive-up ATMs at the bank’s 954 S. Westlake Blvd. and 1440 N. Moorpark Road branches. In June and July, additional skimmers were been found at those same branches and at the bank’s 2345 Borchard Road site, according to the sheriff’s office.
The effort targets California Employment Development Department debit cards, which lack an electronic chip that encrypts card data. Authorities recommend people with the cards go inside the bank to withdraw cash. When other options aren’t available, users should cover the keypad as they enter their PIN.
Anyone with information about the skimmer suspects or other skimmer activity is asked to call sheriff’s Detective Paul Ferruzza at 805-494-8231