Officers with West Shore RCMP recovered over 1,000 pieces of stolen ID after busting a massive fraud operation on Vancouver Island last week.
The RCMP were first alerted to the operation when they received a complaint on September 18 about a fraudulent bank draft that was used to buy a used car from a dealership in Colwood.
An initial investigation uncovered four other transactions involving fraudulent bank drafts that were used to purchase vehicles from dealerships on Vancouver Island.
The RCMP were able to track down the vehicles and identified two suspects. They also determined that one of the vehicles had been used in a September break and enter at Adams Store in View Royal.
Eight separate storage lockers were broken into during the September theft, and victims said stolen items included personal documents and identification cards along with other valuables.
On October 21st, RCMP officers executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence located in Langford.
Officers found the stolen contents of the eight storage units inside the home, along with a “vast amount” of evidence of identity and bank fraud.
Credit card embossers, PIN machines, printers and computers were also seized from the residence.
“Police believe the stolen personal documentation was being used to make a variety of fraudulent cards including BC Identification cards, BC drivers licence cards, firearms licences, status cards, credit and gift cards as well as fraudulent bank drafts and cheques,” said Cst. Nancy Saggar, West Shore RCMP Media Relations Officer.
“This is a massive investigation and officers are still combing over the evidence collected as well as returning stolen items to rightful owners.”
A male and female, both 30 years old, were arrested for possession of stolen property and fraud-related offences.
Police are still investigating and more charges are forthcoming.
“Thus far we have seized over 1000 pieces (and counting) of stolen identity cards,” said Cst. John Taylor of the West Shore RCMP Crime Reduction Unit.
“The fraud that was committed here is in the range of hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
Taylor added that officers have spoken to several victims connected with the investigation, and some have expressed serious financial hardships resulting from the fraudulent activity.
To learn more on how to protect yourself from fraud or what to do if you are a victim of fraud, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website: https://www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/index-eng.htm