Boise, Dec. 23, 2013 - Boise Police found a man with $7,500 in counterfeit 100 dollar bills this afternoon. The find was thanks to an alert bookkeeper who spotted the bill after it was passed at a local retail store yesterday.
It is the second major case involving retail theft or fraud in Boise in the past four days.
Arrested: Roque Diaz Stuart, 57, Denver, CO
Charged: Forgery (F)
"It's about sharing critical crime and suspect information and it literally pays off for all of us. The stores are safer and their losses are less, and we arrest and stop suspects who go from city to city committing crimes that hurt businesses and consumers. It's a great working partnership," said Curt Crum, an investigator with the Boise Police Organized Retail Crime Interdiction Unit.
What Happened: Boise Police were alerted today by loss prevention agents from a local Home Depot. The store bookkeeper discovered a $100 bill passed at a Boise location yesterday appeared counterfeit. Store employees called police and were able to find store security images that identified the man who passed the fake bill. Information on the suspect and the crime was shared with other local retailers via the network created by the Boise Police Organized Retail Crime Interdiction Unit.
Armed with the description, employees recognized the suspect when he came back to the same Home Depot store on Federal Way this morning. They quickly alerted police but the suspect drove off before officers arrived.
Officers were waiting at the Home Depot location on Milwaukee Street, however when the suspect drove up a short time later. Again the suspect tried to pass a counterfeit bill. He was taken into custody without incident. In a search following the arrest, the suspect was found to be in possession of $7,500 in counterfeit $100 bills.
Ongoing Investigation: Boise Police, working with US Secret Service agents have found evidence the fake bills may also have been passed at locations in Colorado and Utah prior to the suspect's arrest in Boise.
Investigators believe the suspect was using the fake bills to make minor purchases and receiving real currency as change for the $100.
Second Retail Theft Case in Four Days: This morning's arrest is the second major retail theft case busted in Boise in just four days.
Two women from Oakland, California were arrested Friday after their purchase of multiple gift cards using counterfeit credit cards seemed suspicious to a grocery store clerk who alerted store security who called police. The suspects were using real account numbers on phony credit cards, which is a common form of identity theft. Officers believe the suspects were traveling throughout the western US committing the theft prior to their arrest here.
"We train with our retail partners regularly and they have become very good at recognizing the suspicious behavior that goes along with fraud," said Crum.
"These traveling suspects may only be in town a few hours or up to a day or two before they move on to another city. Thanks to the partnerships with our local retailers, we have a very good track record of catching them while they're in Boise.
ABOUSE THE BPD ORC UNIT:
Success of the unit was recently honored with two national awards including the IACP Cisco Community Policing Award and the Law Enforcement Partner of the Year from Sears and K-Mart.
Since this team was piloted in 2005, retailers have experienced a 41% reduction in loss to fraud and theft in Boise vs. national rates.
The Boise Police Department’s Organized Retail Crime Interdiction Unit has developed a cooperative relationship with loss prevention agents from a large number of local retail stores that allows for sharing of critical information with law enforcement and other retailers. These relationships have resulted in a number of arrests for a variety of fraud, theft, even violent crimes. The goal of the ORC Unit is to work with retailers and the Boise business community to reduce retail theft and fraud, crimes that have significant impacts on consumer prices, and to reduce other crimes associated with retail theft.
IDENTITY THEFT PREVENTION: Using stolen credit card numbers is a common form of identity theft. Boise Police urge users of credit and debit cards to regularly review their statements to see if they have unknowingly become a victim. Click here for more on ways to prevent identity theft.