Identity Theft Crime Ring Hit 130 Plus Homes in Missoula Area, Multiple Suspects
The Missoula County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a massive Identity theft ring that has been pilfering mail from homes all across the county. Detective Rebecca Birket says that evidence from a warrant issued on a Frenchtown residence resulted in a trove of stolen mail and merchandise.
“We executed a search warrant up at their residence where we recovered a bunch of stolen mail,” said Birket. “Right now we are looking at about 130 victims just in Missoula and some of the surrounding counties. Of the mail that we recovered out there, we also recovered some evidence of counterfeit checks that were being produced.”
So far, Deputies have arrested two suspects, Nathan Swenson and Cassandra Megaard, both of whom are thought to be part of the crime ring. But Birket says there are at least two more suspects that have been identified. Birket says most of the victims didn’t even know their property had been stolen.
“I am only about 50 people into that investigation,” Birket said. “Some of them were aware that their stuff had been missing because they received late fees for making payments and they had been notified by their creditors for potential fraudulent activity on their credit cards, but the majority of people had absolutely no idea.”
Authorities are asking Missoula residents to call 911 if they see or suspect that someone is stealing mail in their neighborhood. According to Birket a third suspect is already in the Missoula County Jail for other crimes and has not yet been formally charged for identity theft.