Friday, November 30, 2007



November 30, 2007 -- The alleged leader of an identity-theft ring - grifters responsible for ripping off more than $300,000 from banks along the East Coast - has been busted with two accomplices, police said yesterday.
Ronald Lampkin, 51, of West 135th Street - also known as Charles Belim - was picked up Wednesday after he, Crystal Velasquez and Kimberly Tucker, both 30, tried to withdraw a large amount of money from a woman's Bank of America account in Morningside Heights and branch officials got suspicious, authorities said.
A fourth member of their gang was busted in Manhattan last week, a police source said.
Lampkin is believed to have orchestrated the theft of at least 35 women's IDs and used their information at banks here, in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Boston over the past several years. The thieves generally get their victims' personal identification by sending female members of the ring into bars or other public places to swipe handbags or wallets.

All three suspects face charges including forgery, possession of forged instruments, identity theft and unlawful possession of a personal ID.
Additional reporting by Perry Chiaramonte

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