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ABC13 story leads Boston and LA detectives to identify sophisticated theft suspect

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Tuesday, November 21, 2023 1:43AM

Houston not the only city going after sophisticated identity theft suspect

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — A story ABC13 brought you in April helped law enforcement identify a man it suspects is behind a series of sophisticated thefts around the U.S.

Richard Calin is now charged with theft in Harris County. He was accused of stealing credit cards and a SIM card from a Houston man’s gym locker in April. He allegedly used the credit cards to make about $90,000 worth of luxury purchases. Investigators believe he used the stolen SIM card to evade fraud detection. He allegedly put the victim’s SIM card inside his phone, and when the credit card company called, he impersonated the victim and approved the purchases.

In May, a detective in Westwood, Massachusetts, a Boston suburb, contacted the Houston detective working the case. They said they believed they were working on a case involving the same person. The two began working together, partnering with other local, state, and federal law enforcement entities.

Eventually, they were able to identify Calin with the help of the Los Angeles Police Department, where investigators there believe he was committing similar crimes in their city.

At that point, Calin was already in federal custody. He is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars worth of public assistance from low-income families with four other men.

“Not surprised. It was such a quick and sophisticated operation,” the gym theft victim told ABC13. “I’m glad they caught him. It seems like he’s a bad guy.”

For more updates on this story, follow Shannon Ryan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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