Deputies take down forgery team - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Deputies take down forgery team

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane County Sheriff's Offices reports that on Friday Deputies arrested a three-person fraud team that traversed Spokane, bank to bank, stealing thousands of dollars using counterfeit Oregon driver's licenses and inactive, counterfeit or stolen credit cards.

Deputies booked into the Spokane County Jail on one count each of First-Degree Theft 25-year-old Corey Jones, 24-year-old Lukeisha A. Harris and 23-year-old Elicionne L. Washington, all reportedly from the Seattle area.

Harris, who is described as six feet tall and 400 pounds, reportedly had just under $26,000 and several bank receipts hidden in her bra when searched during the booking-in process.

Deputies Bret Pierson, Rob Cunningham and Jim Reed were called to the Washington Trust Bank branch at 438 E. Hastings Road about 1:15 p.m. Friday by an employee who reported that a woman had attempted to gain money using a stolen credit card.

By the time deputies arrived, the suspect had left in a black Nissan Altima. The suspect was described as a "heavyset" black woman wearing black clothing and pink shoes.

The complainant at the bank said the suspect left driving toward the Wandemere branch. Deputies arrived there and again missed the suspects, but learned they were now at the North Pointe branch of Chase Bank. The deputies drove there and contacted Washington, Harris and Jones, as well as a man driving the Nissan.

Both women identified themselves to different deputies as Aurora Wright. As they dug through a bible for their identification, several pieces of identification reportedly fell out. The ID's all had the name of Aurora Wright, but with different photos. When they ran Jones' Oregon driver's license, they learned it did not exist.

During the investigation, an employee of the Washington Trust Bank at 3810 N. Maple informed the deputies that a black female had taken $8,000 from that branch. The suspects' method of operation was to present a credit card, ask for a cash advance, and then provide a phone number to get the amount approved when the card would not work.

The confederate on the other end of the phone would provide an authorization number which would override the card's inactive status.

Deputies said the suspects were carrying counterfeit Oregon driver's licenses in each of their names, as well as inactive or stolen credit cards from American Express, Wachovia Bank, Discover, Visa, Master Charge and Capitol One.

Search warrants were executed on both the suspect's Nissan and the group's motel room at the Comfort Inn on North Division. Results of those searches were unavailable Saturday.

Reed said that deputies were unable to establish with any of the banking witnesses that the driver of the Nissan had been involved in the thefts. He was released pending additional investigation.

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