By Beatriz Valenzuela
Gang members are more frequently trading in their guns and masks for laptops and card skimmers, as authorities have seen an increase in the number of gangbangers committing identity theft and more Internet-based crimes.
“Here in Apple Valley I can say we’re seeing a lot of this,” said Kim Watkins, SMASH sergeant for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Apple Valley station.
Apple Valley authorities arrested Michael “Dizzy” Gillespie, 49, of Apple Valley, for violating the terms of his post-release community supervision probation. Investigators have linked him to an extensive identity theft and check-fraud scheme, Watkins said. Gillespie is an associate of a white supremacist gang, she said.
Law enforcement agencies across the country have been noticing the trend of street gangs dabbling more and more in identify theft, check fraud and online crimes. According to the National Gang Intelligence Center’s 2011 gang report, many gang members use the Internet to commit identity theft, computer hacking and phishing scheme crimes.
Source: Daily Press