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Six Arrests Made in Glendale Identity Theft Ring

Authorities made six arrests Tuesday in connection with an investigation that began in June 2011 into an identity theft ring that produced phony credit cards.

Three other suspects remain at large, Glendale Public Information Officer Tamar Hadjimanoukian said.

The investigation included personnel from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Identity Theft Task Force of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Los Angeles Police Department, California Attorney General’s Office and United States Secret Service, Hadjimanoukian said.

In January, Glendale Police officers stopped a 2011 BMW with tinted windows. The passenger was recognized as a person of interest sought for identity theft by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Hadjimanoukian said.

Officers arrested two men on suspicion of possession of  “re-coded’’ credit cards in January, passenger Levon Mkrtchian and the driver, David Yezgatyan, who is now at large.

“Subsequently, members of the Financial Crimes Unit conducted a search warrant at a business belonging to the two men,” Hadjimanoukian said.

“Evidence of re-coded credit card manufacturing was seized during (service of the) warrant.”

The subsequent investigation resulted in the seizure of credit card skimmers, computers, components to encode blank cards, guns, methamphetamine, marijuana and about $60,000 in cash.

Also, two trucks holding bladder tanks to purchase gas at stations with re-encoded cards taken from victims were found.

Arrested Tuesday were Edgar Alaverdyan, Karine Mahrabyan, Edvard Martirosyan, Levon Mkrtchian, Emil Andy Morkus and Serob Yegoyan.