FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Detectives say they busted at least five people who had stolen piles of mail from Forsyth County.
More live breaking news in Atlanta.
Channel 2 first broke the story last week of how suspects were going through mailboxes to steal identities. Investigators say it's bigger than they thought and will soon turn into a federal case.
Investigators say the identity fraud ring cashed in on the credit of hundreds of people.
"It's a little more involved than what we thought it was," said Forsyth County Sheriff's Det. Kris Hall.
Hall was investigating a burglary in Forsyth County when he says his suspect was caught with 10 fraudulent checks. That led to the house with all of the evidence, Hall said.
One woman who didn't want to be identified said she was one of 127 victims so far.
"I've had some checks that were stolen on my son's new checking account and we've been told that some checks have been cashed," the woman said.
The victims are spread across the metro area and as far out as Tennessee, North Carolina and Delaware.
Investigators say the suspects dug in mailboxes for material to create new financial ids and steal others. They also had a second source for finding victims.
"Through text messages I've seen coming out of the prison they've been sending names and social security numbers," Hall said.
Inmates were allegedly sending out victim information and stolen money was being shipped to them in prison in return.
"They've been funneling money through green dot cards, gold dot cards to the prison system," Hall said.
Hall says Sandra Stepp and Daniel Moss were the ringleaders. He said they were printing checks and currency and committing mail theft. He says hundreds more could be affected.
"We're not going to know until the very end how far reaching this is," Hall said.
Investigators say the suspects had relatives working as runners cashing and depositing the checks. They say more arrests could be on the way.
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