Victims help bust organized forgery ring

Reported by: Van Tieu
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Updated: 3/03/2014 5:41 pm
Sparks, NV (KRNV & - An organized forgery ring was apprehended at the Scheel's parking lot at Legends in Sparks, Sunday. It was the quick action of both the victims and the company that finally caught the crooks red handed.

Four California men are behind bars. John Nguyen, Thomas Vath, Bin Pham, and Hoang Nguyen are organized criminals with long rap sheets. Now, they're adding burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, uttering a forged instrument, and possession of a forged instrument to that list. They could have gotten away with it, if not for their quick thinking victims.

"The victims notified us right away, who notified Scheel’s, who notified us,” says Sparks Police Sergeant, Michael Keating. “The whole thing went rather smoothly."

Sgt. Keating says these crimes are often reported too late, but Scheel’s management was proactive and noticed the suspicious group who kept coming into the store over the weekend,

"Usually people shop around to buy different things,” says Sgt. Keating. “But to buy all the same things, at the same time, using credit cards, and then leaving, it just tipped [Scheel’s]. They were able to trace back to what the victims were reporting on their cards."

Police apprehended the men after their second round of shopping and found about 30 fake or altered credit cards on them.

"They might use fraudulent credit cards, they might make them by encoding stuff on magnetic strips of other cards,” explains Sergeant Dennis Carry of the Washoe Sheriff’s Cyber Crimes Unit. “But if they're actually using real ones, they're going to be more sophisticated, or they're ordering it from other people, or stealing it from mailboxes or other sources."

Sgt. Carry says this crime is all too common because of the United State’s weak security. It is easy for crooks to get credit, and for now, there is only one thing consumers and businesses can do.

"The only thing they can do is pay attention to their statements, and look for that suspicious activity" says Sgt. Carry.

By reporting fraud early, it’ll help law enforcement find these criminals quickly.

The Sparks police are continuing their investigation, as more suspects may be charged.

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