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Teens, others targeted by major ID theft ring in Denver metro area

9:33 PM, May 8, 2013   |    comments
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JEFFERSON COUNTY - First Judicial District Attorney Peter Weir announced 10 arrests in a major identity theft ring in the metro area Wednesday.

Weir says three suspects, including the alleged ringleader, remain on the run.

The ring allegedly involves thousands of dollars, dozens of victims, and 13 suspects.

9Wants to Know has learned some of the victims are teenagers.

An investigation led by Arvada Police and aided by other metro area law enforcement agencies uncovered what police describe as a sophisticated ID theft ring operating in Jefferson County and the Denver metro area.

Police think this ring was operating for 10 months, from April, 2012 to January, 2013.

9Wants to Know has learned that one of the 10 people in jail, Nathan Lees, was out on parole for another organized crime case involving ID theft.

"It's a significant identity theft ring," Weir said.

Avery Kemp, 19, of Highlands Ranch is one of the victims. He never imagined filling out a job application could lead to identity theft.

Kemp was working at a Plato's Closet in Lone Tree last July when the suspects are accused of breaking into the store.

"Some people broke in and they stole the safe at Platos which held all the employee records. So I had a copy of my driver's license, Social Security number, I even had a blank check for direct deposit," Kemp said. "Everything that they need to do anything, they have it."

Store owner Patty Eaton tells 9Wants to Know up to 30 employees had their information stolen, all but one of them in their late teens or 20s.

Problems for Kemp began in December, six months after the store break-in.

"They were writing checks, blank checks in my name," Kemp said. "I'm a 19-year-old college student working full time. I'm paying my way in the world and someone else can't. And I have to suffer for it."

As recently as last week, Kemp's mother, Dina Kemp, has been getting calls from bill collectors, creditors, even police.

Dina Kemp is furious someone put her son's name and reputation on the line.

"They were not only writing checks but they were also representing him in different places, committing crimes, stealing TVs, wrecking rooms," Kemp said. "Your whole life you try to protect them and here someone comes in and can almost wrecks everything."

It's a mess they've been cleaning up for months, and they're not alone. Weir says police are still looking for the accused ring leader, Selina Davison.

She and 12 others are suspected of breaking into cars, mailboxes, and businesses to steal personal information.

Weir says the suspects used that stolen information to write bad checks at more than 12 businesses across the metro area. He says everyone needs to be on guard for predators.

"They are out there looking for people whose identities they can steal," Weir said.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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