No arrests have been reported.
accused in thefts
* Bucks County
Bensalem police, alerted by Bensalem High School staffers who discovered 24 cellphone thefts dating back to September, yesterday arrested 12 students from the high school and one from Bucks County Technical High School.
Some students were charged with stealing cellphones, others with buying the stolen phones.
The young thieves - all juveniles - allegedly used Craigslist to advertise the stolen phones for sale.
Names of the alleged cellphone bandits were not released.
In other news:
2 arrested in Phila.
in big ID-theft ring
Federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment in Puerto Rico yesterday charging 50 people in a scheme to operate an extensive identity-fraud ring.
Two men were arrested in Philadelphia and others throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
The alleged conspiracy, which began in April 2009 and lasted until December, stretched across 15 states and Puerto Rico, said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer.
Conspirators trafficked the identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens, corresponding Social Security cards, Puerto Rican birth certificates and other identification documents to undocumented workers and others residing in the U.S., the indictment charged.
Suppliers, identity brokers and mail and money runners filled and delivered orders for personal identifying information, Breuer said.
Arelis Abreu Ramos, age unknown, and Luis Raphael Rodriguez, 40, both living in Philadelphia, were arrested here. Ramos was allegedly an identity broker and Rodriguez a money-runner.
Both men appeared in U.S. District Court yesterday and are being detained pending removal to Puerto Rico. A third defendant, Angel Lugo Nieves, 40, was also charged as an identity broker and is being sought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
The indictment charged that suppliers in the Savarona area of Caguas, Puerto Rico, obtained the Puerto Rican identities and corresponding documents and that identity brokers throughout the U.S. solicited customers.
The identity brokers allegedly sold Social Security cards and corresponding Puerto Rican birth certificates for prices ranging from $700 to $2,500 per set, authorities said.
Savarona suppliers generally requested that customers' initial payments be sent by identity brokers through a money-transfer service to persons whose names were provided by the suppliers, the indictment said.
Suppliers then allegedly retrieved the payments and sent the identity documents to brokers using U.S. mail.
Once the identity brokers received the identity documents, they delivered them to customers and obtained second payments, the indictment said.
The brokers generally kept the second payments for themselves as profits, the feds said.
- Dan Geringer, Michael Hinkelman
and staff reports