Police have arrested five Bergen County residents who they say have used stolen credit cards to buy over $100,000 worth of merchandise online and in northern NJ stores, New Jersey State Police announced in a release Friday.
According to the release, the alleged theft ring was led by Lewis Agyeman, 29, of Englewood, who cops say ordered merchandise online using stolen cards and then asked associates to pick up the packages at locations throughout the area.
After the six-month investigation into the thefts, detectives seized computers, tablets, mobile phones, televisions, audio equipment, cookware, jewelry, clothing, credit cards, a Mercedes Benz, $10,000 in U.S. currency, and froze one bank account worth $12,500, police said.
Agyeman and four of his associates – Alexis Owusu, 32, Philliana Rivers, 21, Kimberly Findlay, 21, and James Owusu, 31, all of Englewood – were arrested and charged with Conspiracy, Theft by Deception, Receiving Stolen Property, Fencing, Shoplifting, and Credit Card Theft, police said.
During the investigation, cops also found a fictitious dating profile that police say Agyeman created and used to fraudulently obtain money from women victims. After establishing online relationships under a phony name, Agyeman allegedly faked emergency situations in an attempt to get the women to send him money.
Cops say he received about $10,000 from several victims that way.
Agyeman was additionally charged with Trafficking in Personal Identifying Information, Theft by Deception, and Impersonation, the release said.
All five are being held in the Ocean County Jail, Agyeman in lieu of $95,000 bail, and the four alleged associates on $75,000 bail each, authorities said.