Oak Brook police announced Tuesday that a lengthy investigation has resulted in officers and federal agents shutting down a multinational identity theft operation involving hundreds of victims from across the country.
Police Chief Tom Sheahan said officers, after looking into local identity theft complaints, raided a house in Calumet City last week and recovered sophisticated equipment and machinery capable of manufacturing credit cards. Following months of investigation by Oak Brook detectives Jason Wood and Scott Warren, officers secured a search warrant for the residence, Sheahan said.
"We were able to see a machine that came from China that manufactured credit card stock and the victim information came from Russia," Sheahan said. "Combine all those disparate parts together and you have an actual credit card that works."
The raid at the house uncovered machines that could produce credit cards, magnetic strips, holograms, social security information and other personal data, police said. More than 400 U.S. citizens were at risk of having their identities stolen, Sheahan said.
Sheahan said two people are expected to be charged in the case by federal prosecutors in the coming days. He said they are Chicago residents and part of a "Chicago-based organization with international ties."
The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a "parallel case" that could result in more arrests, Sheahan said.
Authorities said the equipment recovered during the Calumet City raid was also capable of producing "domestic and international forms of identification."
Sheahan said Wood and Warren are "the foremost authorities on identity theft and those types of crimes" who worked with numerous banks, financial agencies and victims to crack this case.