Crime

Miami couple spent $11,000 on UTC shopping sprees. It wasn’t theirs to spend, cops say

How to protect yourself against fraud in South Florida

Detective Marcos Rodriguez of the Miami-Dade Police Dept. talks to reporters about credit card fraud during a press conference at the Miami-Dade Police Dept. Headquarters in Doral.
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Detective Marcos Rodriguez of the Miami-Dade Police Dept. talks to reporters about credit card fraud during a press conference at the Miami-Dade Police Dept. Headquarters in Doral.

A Miami couple spent thousands of dollars at the University Town Center, but the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has accused them of stealing someone’s identity to do so.

Eduardo Lamigueiro, 43, and Roxana Ruiz, 39, were both arrested Thursday after detectives began an investigation into their possible use of fraudulent credit accounts in the UTC area, according to a sheriff’s office release.

The investigation began in April when multiple victims reported fraudulent activity to the sheriff’s office. They claimed a stranger had used their information to open a new credit card account, an arrest report said.

Lamigueiro first opened an account using stolen information in April, when he used the credit card to purchase almost $4,900 worth of merchandise, deputies say. He returned to the same store Thursday with Ruiz, according to a loss prevention officer at the store. The couple spent a total of $6,100 and split up before leaving the store, detectives say.

Deputies responded to the store Thursday afternoon and arrested Lamigueiro at his car. Officers reportedly found a Springfield XD handgun in possession. According to an arrest report, Ruiz retreated to a nearby restaurant with the merchandise, where she was also arrested.

The sheriff’s office say the couple had more than $1,600 in cash and several pieces of stolen merchandise in their possession.

Lamigueiro is charged with four counts of criminal use of personal identification information, three counts of grand theft and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. He is being held on $180,000 bond.

Ruiz is charged with grand theft, fraud and two counts of criminal use of personal identification information. She is being held on bond totaling $120,000.

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