• Chief: Daytona Beach identity theft bust nets 9 arrests

    By: Jason Kelly , Angela Jacobs

    Updated:

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona Beach police Chief Craig Capri told Channel 9 Friday that his agency has busted an elaborate crime ring dealing in thousands of dollars worth of stolen goods.

    Detectives, who have been investigating the ring since November, said they arrested four people last week and five others during two busts Friday evening at homes on Clair Terrace and South Peninsula Avenue.

    The group would steal mail, packages and people's identities and spend the money they earned from doing so on drugs, Capri said.

    "They would create credit cards in their name and just victimize hundreds and hundreds of people, (causing) thousands and thousands in damages," he said.

    Police said they discovered methamphetamine on stacks of stolen televisions and laptops in one of the homes.

    "This place here looks like the scene from 'Hoarders,'" Capri said. "You can't even walk in there."

    Neighbor Laura Lowd said she was unaware of what was happening next door.

    "I guess they hide it really well, (because) I don't see it," she said. "Maybe I'm naïve."

    Investigators said the thieves forged a deed to an adjacent vacant home so they could use it to receive packages.

    "It's a danger and hazard to the neighborhood, but no more, as you can see," Capri said. "They're going to be taken away and both houses shut down."

    Capri said any nearby residents who believe they're missing mail should report it to police. He said he expects more people to be arrested.

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