Police have arrested a group believed to have targeted mailboxes in both Carolinas to steal credit cards.
The four suspects were arrested in Mooresville, N.C., this week, said Det. Keith Dugan of the Rock Hill Police Department.
Mooresville police found the suspects with mail from Rock Hill victims. More than 130 mailboxes had been forced open with crowbars at three York County apartment complexes, Dugan said.
The suspects were caught after a traffic stop in Iredell County in North Carolina, Dugan said.
Three of the suspects admitted the crimes in interviews with Rock Hill police, Dugan said. The suspects called the scam “mailboxing,” Dugan said.
Dugan said “This scam has been going on for years around the country. And now, it happened here.”
Rock Hill police have arrest warrants against: Kaleef Hassan Carpenter, 22, of Rock Hill; Haleem Cornelious Gilliand, 20, of Charlotte; Antwan Jamarrus Vanshan Jones, 28, of Shelby, N.C.; and Aaron Lashawn Wright, 26, of Kingstown, N.C.
Each faces South Carolina charges of criminal conspiracy, malicious damage to property, financial card theft, and larceny, police records show. The four also face North Carolina charges, according to Mooresville officials.
The suspects are believed to have taken the stolen items, then illegally used the Internet to get identification information on the victims through what is called the ‘dark web,” Dugan said. The dark web is encrypted information online, Dugan said.
Dugan said pre-approved cards then were activated. Then the card assets were shifted to gift cards that were picked up and turned into cash, Dugan said.
Police are checking to see if the same suspects are potentially responsible for crimes in other states, Dugan said. Investigators with the U.S Postal Service also are involved, officials said.
The thefts and damage to property will reach into the thousands of dollars, Dugan said.
All four suspects remain in jail in North Carolina pending extradition back to Rock Hill. The conspiracy charge carries up to five years in prison, while enhancement charges for the thefts carry up to 10 years in prison, South Carolina law shows.
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