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Card-fraud suspect in jail

March 21, 2006|By Kathleen Stinson

A Newport Beach property manager remained jailed Monday in connection with a string of credit-card thefts that took place at the Newport Beach Tennis Club and throughout Orange County over the past several months.

Masood Miskinyar, 39, of Newport Beach was arrested on suspicion of grand theft late Friday in the 6400 block of Pacific Coast Highway, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff's deputies suspected Miskinyar after witnesses ? who had seen a surveillance tape of him buying merchandise with the allegedly stolen credit cards ? spotted him getting into a new Toyota Tundra truck. Deputies took the man's taped image to local dealerships and from that were able to obtain Miskinyar's name and address to make the arrest, Amormino said.

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At the time of the arrest, Miskinyar identified himself as the property manager of the strip mall where he was arrested, which included a restaurant and liquor store.

According to deputies, Miskinyar would enter unlocked vehicles parked along bike and jogging trails, taking credit cards out of vehicle owner's wallets. He allegedly passed up taking cash to avoid tipping off the card owners, giving him time to use the card before it was reported stolen. Deputies have connected Miskinyar to cases involving 52 separate victims over a period from August of 2005 to the present, Amormino said.

"He [allegedly] hit every Ralph's Market in South Orange County," Amormino said.

Most of the thefts took place in South Orange County, Mission Viejo, Lake Forest, and Rancho Santa Margarita, he said.

Miskinyar allegedly bought largely food and cigarettes with the stolen cards, which deputies suspect he probably sold to buy his new vehicle, he said. He was well known at Ralph's Market and Home Depot so clerks did not ask for his identification when he allegedly made the purchases with the stolen cards.

Deputies allege he also used the stolen cards at Rite-Aid, Sav-on, Albertsons and Vons.

Miskinyar was arrested on numerous counts of grand theft and each count carries a maximum sentence of five years in state prison, Amormino said. dpt.21-arrest-CPhotoInfoEQ1P54V320060321iwgakjkn(LA)Masood Miskinyar.

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