Local News

2 Charged in Alleged Identity Theft Ring

Posted March 14, 2008 10:50 p.m. EDT
Updated March 15, 2008 6:24 a.m. EDT

— Two teens were arrested Friday, and two other people were being sought in connection with an alleged identity theft ring that operated along the East Coast, police said.

Raleigh police officers said they first noticed two women in a stolen vehicle at the corner of Capital Boulevard and Brentwood Road. When the officers pulled them over, they found credit cards, automated teller machine cards, checkbooks and personal information belonging to other people, said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

"It was then that the case began to unfold," Sughrue said.

According to court documents, the teens stole the personal property from people from Florida to Pennsylvania, including some in North Carolina.

Joyce Kasunich, whose credit cards were recovered in the case, said someone smashed a window in her sport utility vehicle and grabbed her wallet.

"Within 45 minutes, they charged $800 on my business credit card," said Kasunich, of York, Pa.

Katrina Nicole Rasul, 18, of 1061 NW 26th St. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was charged with 25 counts of financial card theft, 16 counts of identity theft, three counts of possession of stolen goods, two counts of resisting a public officer and one count each of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, criminal contempt, reckless driving, fleeing to elude arrest, no operator's license and disorderly conduct.

Elissa Christine Lamb, 18, of 4050 NE 12th Terrace in Oakland Park, Fla., was charged with 25 counts of financial card theft, 13 counts of identity theft, two counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, two counts of possession of stolen goods and one count of misdemeanor larceny.

"Things like identity theft and fraud happen all too often, but to see this many charges is what makes this case unique," Sughrue said.

Police were searching for Sharmon Cooley, 30, and Olivia Matthews, 18, in the case.

Sughrue said it's too early to determine the extent of damage to people who had their identities stolen.