Cops: NYC man arrested in Hempfield using fake identification to buy computers
A New York City man was arrested Tuesday by state police in Greensburg after allegedly using false identification in an attempt to buy four computers at a Verizon store in Hempfield.
Oscar J. Ruiz, 28, was charged with two counts of identity theft and one count of theft after he attempted to create a credit account at the Verizon store at 5113 Route 30 at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to purchase two Samsung and two Apple computers.
Trooper Steven Papuga reported that police were alerted by store employees that a man was in the store attempting to open a credit account to purchase the computers valued at more than $4,000 using two different Social Security numbers and addresses.
Papuga said when store employees informed Ruiz that the Social Security number provided on his first credit application was from an existing account, he gave them a different number for a second application and also provided a false Pittsburgh address instead of his address in New York.
When questioned, Ruiz told troopers that the store employees mistakenly entered his Social Security number on the applications.
Papuga said in court documents that Ruiz carried a forged electric bill listing the Pittsburgh address that he provided Verizon in the credit application, “but again, Ruiz stated he does not know that address or how the bill with his name on it got into his pocket.”
Troopers also reported three companions of Ruiz were in a car in the store parking lot while Ruiz was inside. Troopers said they smelled marijuana coming from inside the car.
After a voluntary search of the 2018 Honda Accord with Massachusetts registration, police arrested Eric Gonzalez, 23, also of New York City, on charges of possession and delivery of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. In addition to confiscating about one ounce of suspected marijuana from Gonzalez, police also seized a digital scale from inside his backpack.
Both men were arraigned Wednesday before Hempfield District Judge Tony Bompiani and ordered held in the county prison after failing to post $10,000 bail each.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .