Crime Ring Uncovered

CRIME RING UNCOVERED: Santa Barbara police are investigating charges that employees of a local telemarketing company accessed and used stolen identity information. Undercover Santa Barbara officers had an auto theft warrant for Anthony Smith, 41, a former employee of a foreclosure telemarketing company known as both the Approval Agent and the Help Project, located at 401 N. Milpas Street. During an undercover stakeout on May 17, officers unexpectedly found crystal methamphetamine in plain view in two vehicles driving away from Smith’s home. Police arrested two women and two men for meth possession and meth possession with the intent to sell; investigators believe all four suspects work for the company. Detectives later searched Smith’s residence, where they found more meth and a journal filled with names, credit card numbers, PIN numbers, and other identity information of people throughout the U.S. Smith was arrested, along with two men who were at his house during the search. The stolen car was not recovered. Police are investigating whether the suspects accessed the identity information at the telemarketing company.

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