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Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 5:32pm
HATCH, N.M. — Hatch Police continue to investigate a recent rise in identity theft and fraud that ran rampant through the small village the last couple of weeks.
Police have traced the money to Warwick, Rhode Island and Plainville, Massachusetts through the help of various law enforcement agencies.
"We are trying to get all the information over to them so they can look at it and see in what ways they can help us out," said Hatch Police Chief Mike Vega.
Vega said the suspects are using the credit card numbers stolen locally and purchasing iPads or computers in those states and then returning them elsewhere, pocketing the money.
He said they are still looking at how those numbers were stolen in the first place through their own investigation, but are helping other agencies by gathering information and passing it along to the FBI.
"We're going to stay with it should anything else come up," Vega said.
He added in the past week they have only seen two new cases but there's already been about two dozen cases with at least a total of $5,500 stolen.
Nobody has had to pay money out of their own pocket because banks have been working with their customers.
Vega said it's been every bank in town and every age group that's been affected by the wave of identity theft.
He urges victims to file a report if they haven't done so already.
"Whether it's an attempt or a fraud where they did lose money, please bring it to us," Vega said.