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TCSO arrest couple accused of multiple ID thefts

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Updated: 6/14/2013 5:20 pm Published: 6/14/2013 10:34 am

A man and woman are behind bars, accused of more than a dozen complaints of identity theft.

Deputies said Demetra Sherman and Rahamanh Katumbusi were stealing identities and creating driver's licenses, credit card accounts and cell phone accounts.

According to the arrest reports, officers served a search warrant against them and found fake IDs and 21 new cell phones.

One of the alleged victims told officers someone using her name opened cell phone accounts at several wireless stores and credit accounts at retail stores.

According to booking reports Katumbusi and Sherman were arrested Thursday on 16 counts of conspiracy, 16 counts of identity theft and 16 counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

“This obviously has legs that will extend far and wide. There are 16 victims that we know of right now and there is going to be additional victims that we are going to have to follow up on," said Major Shannon Clark with the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

Their arrest and booking sheets showed a confidential informant told deputies that Katumbusi manufactured false IDs to get things like credit cards, open retail charge accounts and even cell phones.

During a traffic stop on Thursday the two were busted after deputies were able to get a search warrant for their car.

Inside they found numerous fake ID cards and 21 different cell phones. Those phones were still in the boxes and worth about $500 a piece.

Deputies said the duo was using Sherman's photo with other people's stolen information.

One of the victim's told deputies someone used her name to open credit accounts at stores like Target, Bass Pro, JS Penney’s and Best Buy.

The sheriff's office said this case should be a wakeup call to everyone about how easily your identity can be taken and used for a crime.

“When you get onto online stores you need to find out if it is a website that is encrypted and if they have any security measures to not allow your identity to be stolen," said Clark.

Reports show both Katumbusi and Sherman admitted he had gotten the cell phones by using fake names and she had helped him in his scheme to scam people.

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