Wednesday, December 5, 2007

You can pay for our fun

"They were like a parasite that infected the building," stated Detective Terry Sweeney.

They were a young, fun loving and jet-setting couple with a $3,000 a month apartment in Philadelphia PA. Authorities charge that they used their neighbors to support their high styles and spending though.

Police began investigating Edward K Anderton and his girlfriend Jocelyn Kirsch, 22, after a neighbor on their floor reported to police on November 19 2007 that she believed that her identity had been stolen. The next day, she was contacted by a local UPS store that she had a package waiting to be picked up. She hadn't ordered anything from the British retailer that had sent it and police waited to see who did pick it up.

Kirsch and Anderton walked in the store to claim the package and police arrested them. A weekend search of their apartment uncovered two printers, four computers, a scanner and an industrial machine that makes ID cards. They also found $17,500 in cash, credit cards, fake driver's licenses and keys to open many of the apartments and mailboxes in their Rittenhouse Square building.

The police don't know how they came to have to keys and they also believe that they have been running the scheme for at least two years. They recovered both a book and an article that are related to their scheme from the apartment, a scheme that police believe made them at least $100,000 in the past year. Anderton, a University of Pennsylvania graduate had recently been fired from his job as a financial analyst and Kirsch, a Drexel University student evidently enjoyed trips to London, Paris and Hawaii as well as spending their stolen money on personal items.

Both Kirsch and Anderton have been charged with unlawful use of a computer, identity theft, forgery and a long list of other related charges. Police have identified at least five victims, one of whom lost at least $30,000 and they expect to find more victims as they continue to investigate.

It seems that both of these young people used the gifts they had in life not to work for their own dreams but to steal other peoples dreams. It may have been that the money they were stealing wasn't being handed over the counter at gunpoint but that doesn't make it less of a crime.


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