Police search for thieves in fraud scheme
SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Police are searching for a group of thieves who are believed to be involved in a fraud scheme, targeting women drivers.
The Miami-Dade Police Department is investigating an ongoing criminal organization that targets the vehicles of unsuspecting female drivers. "Literally, a female will park her car, go for a run, by the time she comes back, she notices that the window of her car has been smashed and her purse is gone," said MDPD Detective Roy Rutland.
Several suspects were captured on bank surveillance video utilizing the farthest lane from the teller window in order to minimize the chance of being identified. "The members of this organization [are] targeting women that are parking their cars at day cares, gyms, at parks," said Rutland.
According to police, the organization uses the identification and checkbook stolen from the victim's purse, along with identification stolen from a second victim, to defraud both victims.
The organization will then find a cooperating female suspect that resembles the person on the identification from the second vehicle burglary to commit the fraud. "They will steal an identification from one car, and they'll go and steal a purse from another car, and in that car they are looking for a checkbook," said Rutland. "Once they have the ID, they find a female in the organization that looks similar to the person in that ID."
Police said one of the females captured on surveillance video falsely identifies herself as the woman in the stolen picture ID and cashes a check from another victim. "The bank will then float them a certain amount of money, maybe $1,000, and allow them to leave," said Rutland.
"I don't know how they do it because if I go and do it for someone else, I won't be able to do it, but they manage to do it. I don't know," said park patron Malena Vasquez.
Police advise women to avoid leaving their personal belongings in their cars.
If you have any information on any of these people caught on camera, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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