Police: ID thieves busted in Montco

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The suspects are from New York. Police say it appears they thought they could commit their credit card fraud in small townships like Limerick, Pa. But a suspicious Good Samaritan turned into a crime fighter and brought down the duo.

The suspects used stolen credit card account numbers and recoded prepaid credit cards. They embossed their names, Rockiem Taylor and Christopher Idore, onto the credit cards and went on a shopping spree, buying gift cards and cigarettes.

Kenneth Lefler was in line behind Taylor at a Collegeville Wawa and became suspicious.

"He starts paying for them but wants each one rung separate," Lefler told Action News.

As Lefler left, he watched the suspects put the merchandise into the trunk of a rental car with out-of-state tags. He went home. But 45 minutes later Lefler went to a Sunoco in Limerick and spotted the duo again.

"I put gas in the car," he said. "When they leave I go talk to the attendant. He said, 'Yes, they just purchased a couple cartons of cigarettes.'"

Lefler called police who quickly moved in and busted the suspects across the street at a Wawa. Police found dozens of credit cards, a GPS with 18 locations around the region and dozens of cigarette cartons.

"Most of these guys that we see come down this way are from New York City," said Limerick Twp. Police Detective Ernie Morris. "Apparently it's almost $50 more per carton for cigarettes, so they'll buy the cigarettes down here, resell them up there and make money that way."

Police say Idore, a Crips gang member, is currently on probation for forgery and fraud after being busted for counterfeit currency. Police believe he and his accomplice are likely part of a much bigger criminal conspiracy.

The Secret Service is now assisting the investigation.

"This gentleman will never get the accolades he deserves," Morris said, referring to Lefler, "because he singlehandley could have saved million of dollars and millions of victims.

"We all pay a higher price when this stuff is going on," said Lefler. "I'm glad we are not going to pay for these two anymore. That's the bottom line.

Police are now working with various banks to contact the victims who've had their identities and accounts stolen. If a large enough case can be built, federal authorities could get involved. That would mean much harsher sentencing.

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pennsylvania, identity theft, montgomery county, crime, chad pradelli
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