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ID thief receives illegal goods while police at his home

by: Submitted photo Khoi Lai, 20, was using stolen credit card numbers to make purchases online and have them delivered in the 19300 block of Robin Circle before getting caught.

UPS made an unfortunate delivery of ill-gotten goods to a home while West Linn police were serving an arrest warrant.

In the morning hours of Dec. 29, West Linn police served an identity theft search warrant in the 19300 block of Robin Circle.

Police had received reports that Khoi Lai, 20, was using stolen credit card numbers to make purchases online and have them delivered locally.

Sgt. Kirk Tonkin said West Linn police received a call six weeks ago from a man in Louisiana who had fraudulent charges on his credit card for items that were shipped to a West Linn address.

Detective Chad Atkeson led a five-week investigation and received a search warrant for Lai's residence. Lai was at home when the warrant was served and he was arrested for identity theft, computer crimes and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Several thousand dollars worth of illegally obtained merchandise was recovered, including laptop computers, a PlayStation3 game console, an iPhone4, an iPad2, and various other merchandise from online retailers including Nordstrom.

Lai was so prolific at identity theft that UPS actually made a delivery of additional items while the police were at Lai's residence serving the search warrant.

'It's pretty strange to have a supply of stolen stuff coming in,' said Tonkin, adding that police joked about staying to see if FedEx and USPS were going to show up with more goods.

Lai obtained the stolen credit card numbers he used from an Internet website that catered to identity thieves. The website has since been shut down.

This website was similar to that of amazon.com only the thief could browse by credit limit, credit score and cardholder address. The prices for the different profiles varied, but started at just $2 for a basic credit card number that had been verified and was guaranteed to work.

Lai was lodged at Clackamas County Jail. Tonkin said Lai will most likely face many charges.