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Identity Theft

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NEWS
March 24, 2004
A Glendale lawmaker on Tuesday threw his support behind a bill that would strengthen the penalties against criminals stealing identities and give prosecutors more power in convicting and sentencing an identity thief. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Glendale) testified before a House judiciary subcommittee during a Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security hearing in favor of the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act. Schiff told the subcommittee that cities in the Los Angeles metropolitan area are prone to such crimes and ranks No. 2 nationally on the top 10 list of regions with the highest per capita rates of identity theft reported with more than 13,000 victims.
NEWS
December 4, 2003
Darleene Barrientos A break-in at a local credit union could spell financial disaster for some of its 49,000 customers whose personal information was stolen. California Credit Union's customers received a letter this week about a burglary that occurred two weeks ago at its home office at 701 N. Brand Blvd. Two offices were broken into and ransacked, said Sandy Serpas, the credit union's executive administrative manager. "They went through everything, even the candy," she said.
LOCAL
By Vince Lovato | March 16, 2006
GLENDALE ? Calling identity and credit theft a "scourge" and an "epidemic," Assemblyman Dario Frommer introduced legislation that will help nonfederal law enforcement officials more aggressively arrest, investigate and convict mail thieves, he announced Wednesday. More than 500 Glendale residents were among the 45,175 Californians who were victims of credit or identity theft in 2005, Police Chief Randy Adams said. "It is the challenge of the decade for law enforcement," said Adams, whose own credit card number was cloned and used to buy groceries in Nicaragua.
NEWS
March 8, 2012
A 21-year-old Burbank man faces identity theft charges this week after police found a re-encoded credit card in his home during a probation search. Gaik Panosian, who is on probation for identity theft, was arrested Tuesday after a Special Enforcement Detail officer recognized him near Doran Street and Concord as someone who detectives were looking for, Glendale police said. In February, detectives conducted a probation compliance search at Panosian's apartment and found a re-encoded credit card, police said.
NEWS
By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com | April 23, 2011
GLENDALE — A couple are scheduled to be arraigned Monday on charges that they had more than 200 blank access cards and fraudulent credit account paperwork for celebrities such as Tim Burton and Tommy Lee Jones, police said. Ex-convict Christopher Herrick, 43, and Traci Godlef, 42, were taken into custody about 11:17 p.m. Wednesday at the Glen Capri Inns and Suites in Glendale on suspicion of identity theft and forgery, according to police reports. Inside the motel, police also reported finding a credit history report with a Van Nuys address and the name "Gaylord Focker," a character in the film "Meet the Fockers.
LOCAL
By Chris Wiebe | August 19, 2006
NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Assemblyman Dario Frommer spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people at the Glendale Central Library on Thursday, describing pending legislation aimed at providing increased protection against identity theft. "This problem is becoming one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States," Frommer said. "And California is third on the list of most identity-theft crimes committed." Frommer's legislation, Assembly Bill 2886, currently in committee in the assembly, would make mail fraud a state crime, giving local law enforcement officials the ability to investigate and prosecute identity thieves, a procedure that is now confined to federal jurisdiction through the United States Post Office.
NEWS
By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com | March 26, 2013
A 31-year-old Glendale man who was allegedly wanted on an outstanding warrant was arrested Monday after he hid from police in a home attic during a probation search, officials said. Police arrived at Ricardo Van Rossen's home in the 900 block of South Glendale Avenue at about 9:20 p.m. after Orange County Probation Department issued the no-bail arrest warrant for Van Rossen, who was on probation for narcotics sales, according to Glendale police. Conditions in his probation allow officers to search his home, according to police.
NEWS
March 22, 2012
Four members of an alleged Armenian organized crime ring were convicted by a federal judge in San Ana Wednesday on charges of identity theft and bank fraud, prosecutors announced Thursday. The five-week trial at the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana ended this week, where prosecutors linked the four defendants to a crime operation that lasted six years and claimed $10 million from victims in Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Southern California. Arman Sharopetrosian, of Burbank, ran the operation while behind bars at Avenal State Prison and directed the co-defendants to illegally obtain information from investors' bank accounts, according to prosecutors.
NEWS
By Mary O'Keefe | June 15, 2007
LA CAÑADA ? A stolen lap top computer led a Crescenta Valley Sheriff's detective to a La Cañada residence last Thursday morning that housed numerous identity theft tools including a credit card making machine. The man at the house, who was arrested and charged with 15 felony counts, may have been in the identity theft business for years, according to a CV Sheriff's detective. Following up on last week's Valley Sun report, the event began at 7:40 a.m. on Thursday, June 7 when a Crescenta Valley Sheriff's detective went to a home in the 4500 block of Rockland Place in La Cañada, near the Big Lots store.
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NEWS
December 9, 2013
A Glendale man who pleaded guilty in a federal “sextortion” case in which he targeted 350 women and coerced them into showing him pictures of themselves nude is scheduled to be sentenced Monday. Karen “Gary” Kazaryan, 27, pleaded guilty in July to one count of identity theft and one count of unauthorized access to a protected computer. He faces up to seven years in prison, the Los Angeles Times reported. Prosecutors said Kazaryan hacked into Facebook, Skype and email accounts of the victims and changed their passwords, locking them out of their own online accounts.
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NEWS
By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com | December 9, 2013
A federal judge sentenced a Glendale man to five years in prison Monday for tricking or extorting hundreds of women into giving him naked pictures of themselves.  Karen Kazaryan, 27, pleaded guilty in July to computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft charges as part of a multiple-count federal indictment, which stated he hacked into more than 350 Facebook, Skype and email accounts, changed the passwords and demanded nude photographs from...
NEWS
December 7, 2013
Glendale police have found themselves busy this week apprehending criminal teams allegedly involved in identity theft by the use of credit card readers or “skimmers” - the latter of which are surreptitiously placed in gas stations or at automated teller machines to capture the credit information and pin numbers of unwitting victims. Such thefts are common here. But despite stereotypes perpetrated in our online comment pages, no single ethnicity has the corner on this particular crime.
NEWS
By Veronica Rocha | December 7, 2013
A 35-year-old Glendale man was arrested this week after a credit-card-making kit and counterfeit credit cards were found hidden inside his vehicle's engine compartment, police said. John Latiolias and two other men - Marc Cuneo, 51, and Loris Masihiapanosian, 32 - were booked early Wednesday on suspicion of identity theft, according to Glendale police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot. The men were released later as detectives continued to investigate the complex case and sift through a significant amount of evidence, she added.
NEWS
December 4, 2013
Three men were arrested this week after police reportedly linked counterfeit credit cards found inside their vehicle in Glendale to card-skimming devices placed at gas station pumps in Coronado, officials said. The Southern California men - George Felix, 24, Diego Mendez, 25, and Ismael Benitez, 29, - were taken into custody about 4:15 p.m. Monday after officers stopped them at Colorado Street and Pacific Avenue for parking in a handicapped zone without a placard, according to Glendale police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot.
NEWS
By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com | October 17, 2013
Two women and a man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to stealing mail belonging to more than 100 victims from throughout Los Angeles County. Glendale police discovered the stolen mail Sunday during a search of a car and room at the Motel Sakura in the 1500 block of East Colorado Street, where Mylene Florendo, 26, Michael Verador, 33, and Cherrie Bognot, 33, were staying, according to Glendale police spokeswoman Tahnee Lightfoot. Police have identified seven victims who live in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles and Van Nuys, she added.
NEWS
October 15, 2013
Robert Marcum knew he had a problem when he found out he was dead. The tragic news arrived recently as he was trying to close a deal to buy property in Palm Springs. Marcum, 70, was informed that, according to his credit file, he'd passed away a couple of years ago. "No one had told me," he said. Looking more closely at his credit file, Glendale resident Marcum discovered that not only was he dead but that, when he was alive, he was apparently involved with a woman named Jean Thomson.
NEWS
September 11, 2013
Eight people, including four who live in Burbank, Glendale and Montrose, pleaded guilty Monday to various charges, including racketeering conspiracy, bank fraud and identity theft, centered around the activities of an Armenian organized crime ring, authorities said. The eight are among the 70 people charged two years ago during a massive regional crackdown against the gang called Armenian Power. Fifty-one other defendants have pleaded guilty, according to a U.S. attorney's office news release.
NEWS
August 20, 2013
An 18-year-old Los Angeles man was arrested Friday after he allegedly tried to cut a loss-prevention worker's face with a box cutter, police said. The incident occurred after the man reportedly tried to steal two packs of beer from a Vons store in the 300 block of West Los Feliz Road. Bryan Ramirez was taken into custody on suspicion of robbery, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon, according to Glendale police. He and another man, Gabriel De Los Reyes, 18, allegedly entered the store, grabbed two packs of beer and exited.
NEWS
August 19, 2013
Police arrested four motorists on suspicion of drunk driving Saturday during checkpoint in south Glendale. A fifth driver was also arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs at the checkpoint held at San Fernando Road and Palmer Avenue, according to Glendale police. Another 10 motorists were arrested for alleged driver's license violations. More than 700 vehicles drove through the checkpoint and were stopped, but only 97 were screened. Police oversaw 21 field sobriety tests and towed eight vehicles.
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