NYSP arrest 6 in cell phone theft scheme

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GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State Police arrested six people they say stole cell phones from several Walmart stores across the Capital Region.

The following individuals were arrested following an investigation:

  • Aaron Billings, 23, of Schoharie was charged three counts of first-degree Identify Theft, three counts of third-degree Grand Larceny, and three counts of first-degree Falsifying Business Records.
  • Eric Gieseler, 26, of Hagaman was charged with three counts of first-degree Identity Theft, three counts of third-degree Grand Larceny, and three counts of first-degree Falsifying Business Records.
  • Christopher Howland, 29, of Amsterdam was charged with three counts of first-degree Identity Theft, three counts of third-degree Grand Larceny, and three counts of first-degree Falsifying Business Records.
  • David Stearns, 35, of Hagaman was charged with three counts of first-degree Identity Theft, three counts of third-degree Grand Larceny, and three counts of first-degree Falsifying Business Records.
  • Jacob Litchfield, 19, of Richmondville was charged with two counts of first-degree Identity Theft, two counts of third-degree Grand Larceny, and two counts of first-degree Falsifying Business Records.
  • Garett Leovy, 24, of Richmondville was charged with two counts of first-degree Identity Theft, two counts of third-degree Grand Larceny, and two counts of first-degree Falsifying Business Records.

In early August, New York State Police was contacted by Walmart’s Asset Protection personnel in regards to the theft of $90,000 worth of iPhones that were missing from the inventory in their stores in Amsterdam, Cobleskill, and Gloversville.

Police say beginning in May 2019, employees of OTS Wireless, a company used by Walmart to sell phone contracts inside their store, were involved in a scheme to sell contracts and cell phones using fraudulent information.

Police say multiple times, Billings was provided stolen personal information by Howland. He, and on some occasions, Levoy and Litchfield, would then use the stolen information to set up cell phone accounts.

Once a fraudulent account was set up, police say the phone would be picked up by Stearns, Gieseler, or an unidentified party, and the wireless account would be cancelled.

Billings, Howland, and Gieseler turned themselves in to State Police in Fonda. They were arraigned and remanded to Fulton County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash/$10,000 bond.

Levoy and Stearns were located and arrested at their residence. They were arraigned and remanded to Fulton County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash/$10,000 bond.

Litchfield turned himself in to State Police in Fonda. He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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