I.D. Theft Pickpocket Gang Nabbed

I.D. Theft Pickpocket Gang Nabbed
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Ventura County, Ca.  – March 20, 2023 – As if shopping for groceries in the local supermarket isn’t stressful and expensive enough, now those strolling the aisles while looking for that no-calorie zero sugar gluten-free microwave-safe two-for-one special on mac & cheese snacks for the kids can’t even turn their backs on their shopping carts to squint at the shelf tags promising even further discounts for buying them by the dozen.

According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Detective Michael Melucci, that’s the reality that became commonplace throughout the jurisdiction in August 2022 when the VCSD East County Forgery-Fraud Unit became aware of an ongoing series of “wallet thefts occurring in grocery stores” that targeted “older females while they shopped.” The modus operandi in each of the reported thefts involved the distraction of shoppers by one suspect while a cohort opened the victim’s purse and removed their wallet. A short time later, “suspects completed large cash withdrawals from various banking institutions” with the use of stolen credit cards and identifying information.

Detectives researched video surveillance records at various supermarkets where the crimes took place over the ensuing eight months and positively identified the perpetrators as “the Kilgore Crew,” known to have committed similar crimes as far north as Washington State. Those identified in these crimes were 61-year-old Van Nuys, Ca. resident Darryl Kilgore, 72-year-old Los Angeles resident James Mitchell, 53-year-old Las Vegas, NV resident Katerina Oertel, and 44-year-old Wilmington, Ca. resident Andre Holloway.

On March 15th, VCSD detectives learned that Kilgore was reportedly in the City of Thousand Oaks plying his scheme at various supermarkets. Acting on that information, detectives tracked Kilgore, Mitchell, and Oertel down to a neighborhood grocery store where they were apparently looking for their next victim. All three were taken into custody at the scene and transported to Ventura County Jail where they were booked on a charge of conspiracy to commit identity theft.

The following day, March 16th, detectives served residential search warrants on Kilgore, Mitchell, and Oertel’s residences, as well as the residence of Holloway. Evidence gathered during each search linked all four as co-conspirators, and Holloway was arrested and booked into Ventura County Jail as well.

I.D. Theft Pickpocket Gang Nabbed was last modified: April 5th, 2023 by admin
Categories: Ventura

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