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Benicia Police Department
Thursday January 27th, 2011 :: 06:24 p.m. PST


False Internet Auction / Grand Theft (Both felony crimes)

On Wednesday, January 26th, a 46 year old Benicia resident reported that about one moth ago he placed an eBay bid on a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle, but was subsequently out bid by another buyer. Shortly after the auction ended, the victim was contacted via email by a subject claiming that the winning bidder failed to complete the transaction and the car was still for sale. Both agreed on a price of $14,000.00. The victim received an email from the suspect with a link claiming to be "eBay protection service" which would assist in a wire transfer to a Bank in the State of Georgia. On January 19th the money was wired to the "seller" but the car never arrived and the seller's email address was canceled. The victim contacted his bank and eBay and learned there was no such eBay protection service, or auction. The victim had been swindled out of $14,000.

Benicia Police Officer Kevin Barreto investigated this case. Upon contacting the banks of both the victim and suspect, Officer Barreto was able to follow the money trail and locate a bank branch and surveillance pictures of the suspect picking up the victim's $14,000.00. Through Officer Barreto's diligent investigation, he was able to identify the suspect as a State of Georgia resident; 32 year old Samantha J. Fuchs from Roswell, Georgia.

Officer Barreto worked with the Solano County District Attorney's Office and obtained a $150,000.00 arrest warrant for Fuchs for Grand Theft. At this time Benicia Police are working with the Roswell Police Department in Georgia to locate and arrest Fuchs in their jurisdiction.

"Officer Barreto did an excellent job identifying the suspect," Benicia Police Sergeant Kenny Hart said. "We're hoping at some point the victim may be able to recoup some of their loss. In this case, the victim thought they were dealing with a secure financial website but was still the victim of a major theft. This is a reminder that those who do business on the internet have to be very diligent to make sure any financial transaction they undertake is legitimate."

For further questions on this press release, contact Lt. Mike Daley at (707)590-4259.

Benicia Police Department
200 East L Street
Benicia, CA 94510

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-745-3411

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