Local News

2 Wesleyan College students suspected in Nash County identity theft bust

Posted October 24, 2017 10:34 p.m. EDT
Updated October 24, 2017 10:59 p.m. EDT

— Two North Carolina Wesleyan College students are suspected in an identity theft raid that occurred Tuesday night in Nash County.

Nash County deputies served three search warrants Tuesday night- two at an off-campus dorm for Wesleyan College and a third at a rental home across town.

“It can be unpredictable, so we go in there with the search warrant, we check for items associated with the crime,” said Nash County Chief Deputy Brandon Medina.

Officers said they were searching a home on Winstead Road for items purchased with stolen identities. Deputies said there were people inside the home, but no arrests were made. Deputies found several empty cell phone boxes inside the home, but believe the people inside may have been used by the suspects. 

Deputies also found a number of electronics inside the off-campus dorm rooms, but nobody was inside when they arrived.

Police have not identified the suspects in the case, but said they are believed to be soccer players at Wesleyan College.

“They were using multiple people’s identities to make purchases online,” Medina said.

Officers said the thieves used victim’s credit cards to buy items, including cell phones, totaling at least $5,000.

Medina said the items were mailed to the victims’ homes.

“Suspects would actually go to the residence and recover the delivered merchandise without the victims knowing,” he said.

Authorities said the scheme unraveled on Oct. 10, when a victim in Rocky Mount grabbed one of the packages before one of the suspects could get to it. When one of the suspects drove away, a relative of the victim followed the vehicle, deputies said.

Deputies said the investigation is in its early stages, but they believe at least two families have been impacted by the scheme.

Medina said identity theft is on the rise and warns residents to take precautions.

“We encourage individuals to check their credit reports to make sure there is no suspicious activity,” he said.