Cary police charge three with identity theft

— A man from New York City and one from Virginia face charges that they used an upstate New York man’s identity to get a Best Buy credit card and purchase electronics at the chain’s Crossroads Boulevard store.

A Virginia woman is accused of helping them.

In arrest warrants, police said the trio had the name, date of birth and Social Security number of a man who records told them lives in Clifton Park, N.Y., near Albany.

Saturday, police arrested Michael Edward Simmons, 40, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Archie Bhandor Anderson, 41, of Virginia Beach, Va., and Kiara Shaniea Spady, 20, of Norfolk, Va., at the Motel 6 at 1401 Buck Jones Road, reports show.

The day before, the warrants allege, Simmons and Anderson bought laptop computers, iPods, tablet computers and Galaxy cell phones at the Best Buy.

What led police to the three was not credit card theft but marijuana, Lt. Steve Fonke said Monday.

Officers who were doing a foot patrol around the motel smelled marijuana coming from the room and did what police call a “knock and talk.”

Electronics in the room made police suspicious, Fonke said, and officers took the trio to headquarters for questioning and discovered the credit-card scheme, Fonke said.

It was not immediately clear why the three were in Cary, but Fonke said that people who use identity theft the way they are accused of doing sometimes travel up and down the East Coast to evade authorities.

The two are charged with identity theft, financial card fraud and conspiracy to obtain property by false pretense.

Spady is charged with conspiracy.

In getting the warrants, police listed the value of the merchandise only as “in excess of $500.”

Simmons and Anderson were being held in lieu of $100,000 bail each and were scheduled for court appearances Monday.

Spady was released on $10,000 bail.

Cary police post advice on their website advising people of steps they can take to protect their personal information on their computers.

Gallagher 919-829-4572

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