HERMITAGE, Pa. (WYTV) – Police say a Mercer County couple had been systematically stealing credit cards for months and received hundreds of deliveries to their house.
Abdul and Alizabeth Sani are in jail Monday night, facing felony charges ranging from identity theft to criminal conspiracy.
Duane DeJulia and his family live across the street from the Sani’s on Quaker Circle in Hermitage. DeJulia says he’s been suspicious of his neighbors for a while.
“Yeah, I’m going to watch who I talk to, that’s what I’m going to do…There were always UPS trucks and FedEx trucks coming by every day as a daily routine, and then they open their garage door and there were tons of boxes…We mind our own business but you get that in the back of your head that something ain’t right.”
Police Chief Eric Jewell says they got a call from someone about the deliveries in February and began investigating. They contacted shipping companies, trying to figure out what was happening.
Then there were complaints from victims in Mercer County, and even as far south as Louisiana, who had their credit cards stolen.
“If it hadn’t been for concerned citizens, this case may not have been as easily solved,” Jewell said.
He says the couple stole credit card numbers to buy all kinds of things from clothing and household items to car parts and engines. There was even an order for 30,000 t-shirts in various colors.
“They were getting so much merchandise, they couldn’t store it at the house,” Jewell said.
They rented two large storage units on Snyder Road. The items were still inside when police seized the units and arrested the pair last week.
“My daughter plays with their twin daughters. It’s kind of scary because if my daughter had been over there and all the cops show up, she would have really had a conniption about that. She would have been scared, so it makes you worry,” DeJulia said.
Jewell advises that identity theft victims make a police report as soon as possible and get documentation to prove that they did not make particular purchases.
According to U.S. News & World Report, if your credit card number is stolen, you need to:
- Call the credit card company and report the situation
- Contact the credit bureaus to put an alert on your account and update your information
- File a police report and submit it to the Federal Trade Commission
- Change your account information on any shopping websites
- Consider signing up for credit monitoring service to track credit reports
- Inform your bank that you have been a victim of identity theft so they can monitor your account and report suspicious activity
The investigation is still ongoing. Police are looking for other potential partners in these crimes. Federal investigators are also involved since the crimes crossed state lines.