ASTORIA, Ore -- Police have arrested a man and women on identity theft charges and racketeering charges in connection with thousands of dollars of fraudulent purchases made up and down the West Coast.
Police arrested Bradly Stay, 34 of Fresno, Calif. on Nov 14 and his companion, Cherice McMillian, 34, of Clovis Calif. on Nov. 16. Astoria police ed to at least $10,000 in fraudulent purchases in the Astoria area alone.
Store owner Cindy Denney said she was suspicious when the couple entered her shop and purchased an $800 laptop.
“Something just didn’t sit right,” said Denny. “They had a stack of seven or eight prepaid debit cards. People just don’t do business like that.”
Each card had about $150 on it. But Denny said the ID matched and the transactions went through.
Stay was using a fake driver’s license with identity of California resident Matthew Dunn on it. Dunn reported his identity stolen in August.
Police said the couple stole prepaid debit cards then used a card machine to imprint fake account numbers on each card.
“They had credit card blanks and could have kept producing cards for some time,” said Astoria Police Chief Brad Johnston.
Police recovered over 200 items from the couple’s Seaside hotel room including credit cards, a credit card machine and a truck load of merchandise.
Police said the couple used the cards countless times in California and Oregon including for a stay at the Cannery Pier Hotel in Astoria.
Abby Gibb contributed to this report