ID #Thief Used #Spoofed #Costco, #Credit Cards: Police

A Tinley Park man allegedly used the identity of a Lincolnshire resident and spent thousands with re-encoded cards at suburban Costcos.

LINCOLNSHIRE, IL — A Lake County Grand Jury indicted a Tinley Park man Wednesday for allegedly stealing multiple peoples’ identities and using them to create fake credit and Costco cards. Eric Dughetti, 34, of the 16000 block of South 76th Avenue in Tinley Park, faces three felonies, one count aggravated identity theft and two counts of identity theft, according to court records.

The charges date back to April 29, when Dughetti and an unidentified accomplice bought two 75-inch TV’s from the Merrillville, Indiana Costco for a total of more than $8,000, according to police reports.

One of the TV’s was purchased using a credit card in the name of a Lincolnshire resident who told police he suspected the card had been skimmed, as he mainly uses it at a gas station in Vernon Hills.

In both purchases, the thieves used the Costco membership card of an Antioch man who has lost the card in his wallet at a Schaumburg gas station in September 2016, police said.

Police said he had been seen at the Merrillville “on prior occasions, with various people,” but always using the same man’s membership card. Costco security told police the man uses different re-encoded credit cards to make purchases.

Both victims told police they had never been to Merrillville, Indiana and never gave anyone permission to go there and use their cards, police said.

Detectives began investigating, and soon were tipped off that the same suspects were seen again at another Costco, this time in North Riverside, according to the reports.

Police were called to the store on May 12 for a report of credit card fraud in progress, but the two suspects had run away before officers arrived.

However, a car registered to Dughetti was found at the scene, and police were soon able to identify him.

Detectives compared his driver’s license photo and social media profiles with the suspected ID thief seen on Costco surveillance tape and found that all those images resemble the man whose membership card he had been using, according to police reports.

His still-unidentified apparent accomplice or accomplices, seen on Costco security footage with him making the fraudulent purchases, remain at large, police said.

Dughetti was arrested in July and released after posting 10 percent of a $75,000 bond, according to Lincolnshire police. He is due to be arraigned in Waukegan on Nov. 30.

Dughetti’s attorney, Richard Kim, was hired in September. He said he had not yet reviewed a copy of the indictment and would not be able to comment on the case. Dughetti could not be reached for comment.