Stolen phone leads to Identity Fraud bust

Fayetteville Police searching for a stolen phone were led to the residence of Jawuan Buggs where they found evidence of an identity theft operation. The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office has charged Buggs with 13 counts of Financial Identity Fraud with more charges expected.

A routine police investigation has led to a mounting stack of identity fraud charges for one Fayetteville man.

On February 5, Fayette Police apprehended Jawuan Buggs, 28, of Fayetteville, in relation to a stolen phone, discovering an identity theft operation in the process.

According to Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb, the uncovering of the crime came from Fayetteville detectives searching out a cell phone stolen from an entering auto case.

“Originally, it was a City of Fayetteville case and there was a car that was broken into,” Babb said. “They were investigating an entering auto case with the Fayetteville PD. Out of that car was a stolen cell phone, and the detectives pinged the phone. That led them to the address where the suspect lived.”

The police had a search warrant for the property of Buggs. While investigating the theft, they found evidence of an identity theft operation in stacks of private documents and victims’ checkbooks. Fraud investigators with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office were called in.

“Our detectives were called because it is in the county and our fraud investigators were able to put charges on him for the evidence,” Babb said.

Buggs was immediately taken into custody. The department is actively sifting through the evidence in their investigation, and more victims will be identified. He is currently charged with 13 counts of Financial Identity Fraud, but more charges are expected as detectives sift through the evidence.

“(Thirteen) is how many victims that we have found so far,” Babb said. “Detectives tell me that there are going to be more victims identified as time goes on. It’s one of those things where they continue to find stuff out.”

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