Identity theft factory found in Surrey
Police in Surrey showed off the spoils of the biggest identity theft bust in the city's history Thursday morning.
A nondescript building in Newton was instead an "identity theft factory" with hundreds of CDs with tens of thousands of people's personal information, including names, addresses, phone numbers, maiden names and children's names.
Stacks of passports, driver's licences and credit cards -- both real and fake -- lined the rooms, as did over 2,400 pieces of mail stolen from 24 cities across B.C. and Alberta.
Medical cards, government-issued cheques, tax returns and money orders were found, as well as a .22-calibre sawed-off rifle and eight ounces of crystal meth.
Some of this mail was stolen directly from mailboxes, police said. Several Canada Post uniforms and keys that opened Canada Post mailboxes were found in the building.
But it was also stolen through property crime, officers said.
Police characterized the operation as a "mid-level hub:" where stolen mail and various forms of identification are brought and then altered, modified, or created.
From that point, it is believed that the fraudulent IDs or documents are sold to others.
Two people were charged after the police sting, where some 14 officers and postal inspectors entered the property at 141st St and 72A Ave.
Tany Aschert, 27, and Timothy Bradley Mosian, 34, have been charged with fraud, impersonating others, possession of counterfeit, unauthorized use of credit card data, possession of stolen property, making instruments for forgery, and possessing break-in instruments.
Canada Post told CTV News that they would try to get the mail back to its rightful owners.
Items found included:
- More than 2,400 pieces of mail stolen after delivery
- Credit card-making equipment
- Card readers
- Debit terminals
- Plastic blanks
- More than 100 driver's licences from BC and the US
- More than 500 credit cards from various financial institutions
- Hundreds of points and rewards cards
- Twelve international passports
- More than 75 medical cards
- More than 30 government-issued cheques
- Hundreds of tax return papers including tax return information
- Canada Post money orders
- Cheques from multiple businesses
- More than 100 CDs believed to contain as many as 20,000 personal data profiles
- A light board to trace signatures from receipts
- Counterfeit currency templates
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