(Press Release) The Madera County Sheriff’s office believes a stolen credit card used to rent a room in Oakhurst may be connected to an identity theft ring operating in Central California.
The Sheriff’s Office believes there may be as many as half a dozen suspects connected to this case… one of whom is believed to be: 31-year-old Corey James Smith, (AKA Corey James Sahagian-Smith) of Fresno. He has brown hair, blue eyes, weighs about 180 pounds and stands 6 feet tall.
Early Monday morning a hotel clerk in Oakhurst rented a room to a man and woman who are described as: A woman in her Mid-30’s, dark skinned (possibly Hispanic), medium build, standing roughly 5 feet 7 inches; she had short dark hair with tattoos on her arms.
The man was described as in his Mid-30’s white, standing about 6 feet, and weighing between 180 and 200 pounds; he had light colored wavy shoulder length hair and was unshaven.
Starting at around 6:30 a.m. witnesses in the area started to see people entering and leaving the hotel room. Two men were seen delivering property to the room. The same two men were also seen driving in an older black truck, California license plate 7Z99808.
The Driver of that truck is described as a white male in his mid-30’s. He sported a blonde crew-cut and wore a red shirt. Two little girls were seen with the driver. The other occupant had a beard.
The Hotel clerk discovered the card used to rent the room had been stolen after he received a call from the victim who resides in Maryland.
It had also been discovered that purchases were made on that same card at a gas station and a donut shop.
When Deputies were dispatched to the Hotel, the rented room was unoccupied. Deputies were however able to get a warrant to search it and they recovered; three laptops, a printer, a scanner, a bag containing hundreds of credit card numbers, a magstripe reader, and a fixed-blade knife.
So far detectives have uncovered more than two dozen victims – many of whom either live or work in Fresno County.
If anyone has information about this case, they are urged to call either the Madera County Sheriff’s Office at 559-675-7770 or CrimeStoppers at 498-STOP. An anonymous tip to CrimeStoppers that leads to the apprehension of these suspects could be worth up to $1,000.