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Identity theft ring suspects arrested throughout county

Fri., Oct. 12, 2012

Police say many victims were active military personnel

A multiagency task force served search warrants on five Spokane County addresses Thursday, looking for suspects and evidence in an identity theft ring with more than 300 victims in several states.

Many of the victims are active members of the military, said Deputy Craig Chamberlin of the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

The group is thought to have stolen thousands of dollars through identity theft, he said.

“Victims don’t know they’ve been victimized until credit companies call them and say, ‘You’re past due,’ ” Chamberlin said.

The addresses where search warrants were served are 3804 E. 36th Ave.; 611 S. Altamont St.; 1915 N. Waldo Road; 4208 N. Burns Road; and 1616 E. Decatur Ave.

Michael Clarke Jr., 24, was arrested on suspicion of forgery, theft and money laundering.

Investigators seized electronic devices from his home at the address on 36th Avenue that forensics will examine for further evidence.

A woman whose name was not released was arrested at the Decatur address. Authorities said she had methamphetamine, and they found evidence she was involved in identity theft.

Involved in the sting were U.S. postal inspectors, the U.S. Secret Service, the Social Security Administration, the Sheriff’s Office investigative task force and support unit and the Spokane Police Department.

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