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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