Pasco Police Nab Crooks With Sophisticated Printing Equipment!
It's another crazy bust from the Pasco Police Department over the weekend. Two suspects have been apprehended for a string of high-end fraudulent purchases.
If you are a high-end dealer, you might want to check your inventory and records to make sure the suspects didn't rip you off as well.
Here are the complete details of the case courtesy of the Pasco Police's Facebook page.
LET THE SELLER BEWARE! As a public service, we are going to tell you about a really slick string of fraud cases that we assisted Ellensburg PD with on Saturday. If you sell expensive things for a living and you recognize either of these people, you may have a problem.
Ellensburg PD sent a sergeant and an officer to Pasco on Saturday in an attempt to catch up to Christopher Patrick Kittler, DOB 080989 of Cle Elum, and Hifa Melissa Smith, DOB 072591 of Pasco (but with Idaho identification). The two were accused of using sophisticated printing equipment and other people’s personal info to generate state driver’s licenses in the names of people with good credit, but bearing the photos of the suspects. The allegations are that they used the info to open credit accounts in the victims’ names to make large purchases.
Really large purchases. Like top-end brand-new cars off dealership lots, driven away as the saleman waves good-bye, thinking he just sold a car. Sorry, Mister Car Salesman, the credit card is fraudulently obtained and the great credit score does not belong to the guy who sat at your desk. The car is stolen; you just don’t know it yet.
By the end of Saturday, Ellensburg PD had served a search warrant on a room at My Place Hotel off Road 68 in Pasco, had arrested Kittler on a variety of charges in their investigation, and had recovered a large amount of sophisticated printing equipment, other people’s personal info, and high-quality counterfeit driver’s licenses. They also recovered a 2017 Dodge Charger Hellcat stolen from a LaGrande OR dealership that sells new for about $70K, parked in the motel lot.
Assisting Pasco officers found Smith driving past in a 2017 Toyota Highlander stolen from a dealership in Ontario OR. She was arrested by Pasco PD on an investigative hold for Possession of Stolen Property and booked into Franklin County Jail. She also faces charges in Ellensburg.
In addition, a third stolen vehicle was described as being parked in a lot in LaGrande OR, and local officers there were able to find and recover it based on the info received during Saturday’s investigation.
When credit history of the poor guy whose name was being used got examined, it appeared that he had recently purchased “several” new cars that he was not aware of. Other high-value property like tools may have also been fraudulently purchased.
These frauds occur where the transaction takes place, and need to be investigated by the police agency that has jurisdiction at that location.
If anyone realized they were involved in a fraudulent transaction, they should get all of their transaction paperwork gathered up and contact their local police agency. If not, the ugly truth may rear its head slowly over the next couple months as unauthorized charges appear on identity-theft victims’ statements, charges get reversed as fraudulent, and the balance that was temporarily in the seller’s account gets charged back.
I just don't get it, why not take that money that you used to get all the sophisticated printing equipment and buy the stuff that you really wanted. I like that another dumb criminal bites the dust. Congratulations to the Pasco PD on a job well done.