The Manhattan District Attorney's office announced yesterday that 15 people were arrested on charges including grand larceny in connection with an identity-theft ring. Prosecutors say that the crime ring stole more than $700,000 in an overly elaborate and complicated scheme, involving (but not limited to): An old-timey band of pick-pockets, futuristic identity theft, and of course, costumes.
The pick-pockets would steal wallets from patrons at night-clubs and bars (note: don't leave your purse on bar stools) and then send their credit card information to associates at a collection agency in Harrisburg, PA. The associates would then use the credit card information to get victims' personal information and, finally, the crew would send other recruits dressed as said victims into banks, in order to withdraw exorbitant amounts of the victims' money.
The ring was foiled by one Chase Bank investigator who noticed a "kooky-looking guy," mastermind Arthur Franklin, 45, of Harlem, who dressed as either a doctor (stethoscope and scrubs) or construction worker (hardhat) while observing the bank transactions. Now this is why costume shops are open year-round.