Dozens of charges laid after alleged mail theft ring discovered

CALGARY- Calgary Police have shut down what they believe is an organized crime ring, aimed at stealing personal information to create fraudulent cheques.

On May 12, officers were alerted to suspicious activity inside a hotel room along Macleod Trail, and arrested two people inside.

A search warrant was obtained, and investigators found garbage bags full of stolen mail, notebooks with credit card data, keys to apartment mailboxes, computers, debit and credit cards, and numerous bank statements. There was also a small amount of ecstasy.

It’s believed the two people arrested were part of an organized group, trying to make fake cheques for bank fraud.

“The mail that they were taking was a variety of things. Bank statements, credit cards that were being delivered to people, government cheques that were being delivered to people,” explains S/Sgt. Kristie Verheul from the Calgary Police Economic Crime Unit. “What I would suggest to anybody that’s expecting mail on a regular basis would be that if you don’t receive mail, contact Canada Post immediately.”

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Gian-Paulo Bellabono, 37, faces 23 charges including theft, possession of identity documents and identity fraud. 23-year-old Ashley Sawatzky faces 18 charges, including theft and possession of stolen property.

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