Deputies report the arrest of 2 individuals for a crime wave in Western North Carolina.
SC (CSU) – ASHEVILLE According to the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, two people have been detained in relation to a recent two-year crime wave.
The Sheriff’s Office claimed that in August 2020, it received numerous reports of thefts of credit and debit cards using a keypunch in the Bent Creek Experimental Forest and other places. The thieves then made purchases with the stolen cards, including gift cards, high-end electronics, and expensive goods.
Deputies claimed that after discovering this pattern of illegal conduct, they used the same method to identify 17 additional cases over the following six months. Transylvania County officials also discovered other cases that shared the same trends.
According to deputies, Patricio Ricardo Lagos Erazo and Belgica Belen Rivera were detained in February 2021 after the Goldsboro Police Department discovered thousands of dollars’ worth of gift cards hidden inside their rental car.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has been assigned to handle the case, according to the sheriff’s office.
Lagos Erazo was sentenced to 14 months in jail earlier in 2022 after entering a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit access device fraud.
Officials state that Belen Rivera is still awaiting trial.
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