IRVINE, CA – Approximately one month ago, the Irvine Police Department was contacted by a victim who was defrauded while selling an XBOX computer game system on eBay.
During the course of the investigation, police detectives learned the suspect contacted the victim through eBay and indicated he was interested in the purchase of the XBOX. The suspect then deposited funds into a PayPal account, leading the seller to believe the funds were available. In actuality, the suspect had fraudulently stolen the identity of another victim and had only given the appearance that funds were in the PayPal account. The suspect then contacted the victim to arrange a meeting so he could obtain the XBOX. Once the suspect had taken delivery of the XBOX, the victim learned the funds were not available.
A subsequent investigation identified two suspects involved in this crime. With assistance from Costa Mesa Police detectives, the suspects, Sean Pierce, age 23 and Randy Spizer, age 25, both residents of Costa Mesa, were arrested on December 15, 2005 for grand theft, identity theft and conspiracy. They were booked at Costa Mesa Jail.
During the course of the investigation, detectives also recovered about twelve XBOX game systems that were in the possession of the suspects, as well as computers believed to be used to perpetrate the fraudulent transactions. A further investigation will be conducted to determine whether or not these units are stolen.
To date, the suspects have been linked to at least three similar cases in Irvine and one similar case in Costa Mesa.
Members of the public are encouraged to wait four days before parting with property they are selling on eBay if they are concerned about the legitimacy of the buyer. After four days, sellers will be able to determine if the funds in a PayPal account are good.
If anyone has any additional information about this case, please contact Sgt. John Hare at (949) 724-7166.
Prepared by Lt. Mike Hamel