2 in custody for roles in Pierce County identity theft ring

Two people are in custody after allegedly stealing mail, credit cards, and other documents as part of an identity theft ring, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department announced.

A third suspect was arrested and charged in the case, but has since posted bail and is no longer in custody.

According to the sheriff’s department, a mail theft and fraud victim filed an online report on Jan. 9 saying their mail had been stolen and that a fraudulent credit card charge of $6,215.18 had been made at a Home Depot. Another transaction of $2,638.90 at Lowe’s was declined.

Investigators with the sheriff department’s Proactive Property Crimes Unit obtained surveillance video of the transaction at Home Depot, which showed two men and a woman, as well as the truck that was involved, in the mail theft.

Investigators were able to identify all three people and later arrested one of the men and the woman. The truck was impounded for a search warrant, which turned up documents belonging to 22 victims of identity theft. Many of the documents were stolen checks totaling more than $121,000.

The suspects also had a notebook with information about the victims, such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, email addresses, and more.

One of the men, a 29-year-old, was charged with first-degree identity theft and first-degree organized retail theft. The man posted $25,000 bail and is no longer in custody, the sheriff’s department said.

Charges are pending for the other man and the 33-year-old woman.