Created: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 03:41:00 EST
Updated: Tue, 27 Aug 2013 09:41:53 EST
Macon Police announced the arrest Monday of a 26-year-old man who they say used fraudulent credit cards to withdraw more than $190,000 from Macon ATMs.
Police say the scam is part of an international identity theft ring which may be responsible for stealing more than $1 million. Police have already identified 146 victims in the Macon area alone.
Police say the MPD Financial Crimes Unit served search warrants at two addresses, a grocery store at 3472 Houston Avenue, and the Rutland Corners Apartments at 5577 Houston Road last Thursday before arresting Jaydeep Patel, on 588 counts of fraud/identity theft.
The Grocery store was closed Monday. A property manager at the Rutland Corners confirmed police did raid a unit on Thursday, but said Patel's name was not on the lease.
Police say Patel was identified as a central figure in an international identity theft operation.
Macon Police Lieutenant David Freeland said the Property seized during the raids included: data storage devices including computers and cell phones; credit and debit cards; ledgers, documents and notebooks containing names, addresses, driver's licenses and social security numbers, and approximately $12,000 in cash.
Police say Patel operated as a middle man in an international loan scam using reloadable debit cards managed by a company called Incomm. The $190,000 withdrawn by Patel from local ATMs was only part of the scam as it is nationwide and ongoing.
"It's like a loan scam basically," said Freeland. "The guy was just basically getting information from several different victims, using their information to get cash and other property."
Patel is being held in the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center under a $49,700 bond.
The MPD said the operation was conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Secret Service and the Bibb County Sheriff's Office.