2 arrested in St. George for attempted fraud with fake IDs – St George News

mobtkr30 April 2022Last Update : 2 months ago
2 arrested in St. George for attempted fraud with fake IDs – St George News

ST. GEORGE- Two California men were arrested on Thursday when officers were called to a North Bluff Street cellphone retailer following a report that two men were inside the store attempting to open lines of credit using what appeared to be fake IDs.

St. George officers search a Honda after two suspects were arrested attempting to purchase a cell phone using fake IDs, St. George, Utah, April 28, 2022 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Officers also received a description of the suspects.

When the first two officers arrived and parked their patrol vehicles, they observed two Hispanic men leaving the retailer that matched the description.

When a man was approached by police, the report says, he told authorities he needed to go to the bathroom, which is when the officer repeatedly told him to stop.

When he allegedly refused to comply, the officer tried to detain him. He continued to resist until the officer was able to handcuff him.

The officer obtained the suspect’s passport identifying the man as Christian Chavez, 31, of Pico Rivera, California.

Chavez told officers he was in the store with his friend, whom he identified only as “Alex.” Chavez claimed that Alex was paying his bill or maybe changing his cell phone number.

Chavez went on to say that he needed to use the restroom because his friend was taking so long inside the cell phone store.

The report also says the second suspect described to police was no longer at the scene. Officers began circulating the area looking for the second suspect, identified as Hector Alexander Galvez, 26, of Venice, California.

Galvez was found shortly after trying to get a Lyft ride when he was located by police.

When asked how the men got to the store, Galvez said he drove there in the white Honda that was in the parking lot in front of the cellphone store.

Meanwhile, agents inside the store obtained the state-issued identification card that Galvez allegedly used to take out the line of credit. The card was reportedly issued from California under the name Jordan Meza, and upon further inspection, the officer noticed that the photo on the ID matched Galvez but appeared to have been “photoshopped”, the official noted. officer in the report.

Officers also learned the couple also went to a mobile phone retailer on River Road to try to open a line of credit, similar to what happened on Bluff Street, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

As soon as officers arrived at the Bluff Street store, Chavez attempted to poke the ID card through one of the holes in the window.

Galvez gave officers the name that appeared on the ID, Jordan Meza, and the date of birth that appeared on the card. The officer told Galvez he believed the ID was fake.

The suspect admitted the card was fraudulent and said he only used it to enter clubs. However, he later admitted to using the ID card at the store in an attempt to buy two phones.

The suspect first told the officers his name was Alex, then later he said his name was Hector and that Alex was his middle name.

Later, when officers retrieved a California ID in Galvez’s name, they passed it on. The physical description matched the man they were talking to.

In the meantime, a K-9 unit indicated the possible presence of drugs and the car was searched.

During the search, officers found 17 SIM cards from one mobile carrier, as well as three new iPhones connected to another carrier. All phones were recently purchased from St. George.

IMG 6938  - Market for Phones
St. George officers respond to a Bluff Street cell phone retailer over a report of two suspects attempting to purchase a cell phone using fake IDs, St George, Utah, April 28 2022 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

They also recovered several loadable debit cards, as well as an electronic embossing device, which is used to imprint information on a plastic card, such as a credit, bank or gift card. A laptop computer and $4,000 in cash sealed in black plastic bags were also seized.

Galvez told officers the money belonged to him and came from a pawnshop where he sold his watch, and when asked why the currency was sealed, the suspect replied “that’s how the pawnbroker gave it to him,” according to the officer. report.

Opening accounts under fake names appears to be a common scam circulating in the area, where suspects open lines of credit to buy cell phones using fake IDs, then resell the phones they don’t. have never paid, according to the retailer.

The retailer said there was video of the attempt on River Road.

All items recovered from the car were seized by police, and authorities also noted evidence suggests other retailers were defrauded by the suspects due to the number of cellphones and SIM cards recovered from the Honda. .

Chavez and Galvez were transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing two third-degree felonies, including impersonation and possession of a fake writing device. Galvez also faces one count of providing false information to law enforcement, while Chavez faces one count of failing to stop at law enforcement command, two misdemeanors.

The officer asked that they be held without bail, saying both men were from out of state and neither had ties to Utah, leading the officer to believe that they “will not come back”.

The request was also based on the fact that investigators needed more time to follow up with a third cell phone retailer and other possible victims.

However, instead of being held without bail, each of the men is being held on $5,000 bail.

This report is based on statements taken from court records, police or other stakeholders and may not contain the full extent of the conclusions. Those arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty by a court or until a trier of fact decides otherwise.

Copyright St.George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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