INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 17, 2015)– Investigators in Indianapolis and Greenfield are working to dismantle an identity theft ring targeting elderly residents in at least one central Indiana nursing home.
Indianapolis Metro Police and Greenfield Police served a search warrant and raided a home at 318 South Randolph Street in the Fountain Square neighborhood Tuesday morning. Inside the house, they say they found a large number of items which were purchased using fraudulent credit cards.
“We are looking at approximately over $100,000 in money and merchandise stolen from these victims,” said Greenfield Police Detective John Cutler.
Officers could be seen carrying dozens of bags, boxes, receipts and other paperwork from the home. The merchandise, police say, was purchased after the suspects stole the elderly victims’ identities and opened new credit cards in their names. The credit cards were mailed to the Randolph Street house, and two other addresses in Lawrence and the east side of Indianapolis.
“We have had numerous identities stolen from a nursing home in Greenfield,” Cutler said. “Victims’ age range is between 80 and 90 years old.”
The items included high end jeans, UGG Boots, electronics, furniture and more. The items will be collected for evidence as detectives work to figure out how large the scope of the case actually is.
At first, investigators thought the handful of suspects had stolen a handful of identities from the Greenfield victims. But after searching the home, detectives found a ledger containing hundreds of names and credit account numbers. Police say the list of potential victims extends beyond Indiana.
“This is the largest identity theft case that I’ve ever worked in my career,” Cutler said.
It’s believed that the leader of the ID theft ring had inside access at the nursing home in Greenfield.
“It’s probably a former employee that’s taken the identifications and used this to start this ring or to operate this ring,” said an undercover IMPD officer.
Investigators think the former employee may gained access to names and credit accounts at other facilities operated by the same parent company. It’s not known how many people have actually been victimized. Detectives are now going through the list of names and accounts to figure out how many victims there are.
“If you have a loved one at a nursing home around here, you might want to check their credit accounts for fraud,” said the undercover officer.
No arrests were made Tuesday morning, although one man was questioned after he returned to the home while police were on the scene. That man was released, pending further investigation.
Investigators did not release the name of the Greenfield nursing home, and they did not publicly identify their possible suspects. But, arrest warrants are pending, they said.
Detective Cutler did not rule out the possibility of federal involvement since the list of stolen names and accounts goes outside Indiana.