An anonymous tip helped the Bend Police Department arrest a Florida fugitive who tried to purchase more than $14,000 worth of iPhones with a stolen credit card.

Officer Jeff Frickey responded Monday to a report of a man — Wilfredo Dominguez — who was on the lam with an outstanding warrant from Florida and allegedly in Bend with the intent to buy goods with stolen credit cards, according to a search warrant affidavit. The tipster alleged Dominguez had picked up a package of stolen cards that morning from FedEx and had attempted to purchase 16 iPhones from a Verizon Wireless store on Third Street.

The purchase, which would have cost $12,304, was flagged. Dominguez was reportedly using the credit card and ID of an Alexander Anderson of Ohio.

Frickey discovered there was an active arrest warrant for Dominguez, who had secretly left Miami where he was on probation after being convicted of 22 counts of credit card fraud, according to the affidavit.

Bend Police caught a break with this case, said spokesman Lt. Clint Burleigh, because the anonymous tip allowed Frickey to come in contact with the suspect on the same day Dominguez was attempting to make the fraudulent purchases.

Identity theft cases can be hard to investigate, he said. If someone comes into town briefly, uses an out-of-state card and ID and then takes off, it can be very hard to build a case with that information in such a short amount of time.

“They make it difficult sometimes to track down the actual people who are using (the stolen cards),” he said. “It allows them to get away with it more often than not.”

Timing played a role as well.

As Frickey arrived at the Verizon Wireless store, a man quickly got up and left. Frickey asked the store manager if someone had tried to buy 16 iPhones, and the manager pointed to Dominguez as he drove off in a rental car, excitedly saying “That’s him!” the affidavit states. The manager also told Frickey that a card matching an Ohio ID had just been used to charge $2,700 for three iPhones.

Frickey reported the car’s license number to dispatchers, and Dominguez was subsequently stopped and arrested.

The affidavit outlined an interesting exchange between police and Dominguez.

Frickey told Dominguez he was under arrest, at which point Dominguez said he was recording the conversation, the affidavit states. Dominguez told Frickey he was on his way to Walmart. When Frickey asked about the purchase at Verizon, Dominguez said he could buy whatever he wants, under any name he pleases. Frickey then informed Dominguez that he cannot purchase things under other peoples’ names, but Dominguez continued to dispute that fact, according to the affidavit.

While being placed under arrest, Frickey found Dominguez in possession of a $171 receipt from FedEx in Bend for a 15-pound package he picked up earlier that day.

A search warrant return document shows a search of Dominguez’s rental car turned up the three iPhones, receipts showing use of several credit cards, two Samsung phones, several phone cases, an Ohio ID belonging to an Alexander Anderson, a Chase Bank credit card and a Discover card belonging to an Alexander Anderson, a Playstation 4, several games and two virtual reality headsets and a day pass to Mt. Bachelor.

Dominguez was booked in the Deschutes County jail. He was arraigned Tuesday and had bail set at $25,000. Burleigh said the Oregon charges take precedent over the Florida warrant, but if Dominguez gets bailed out or is granted release, Florida can then decide if it wants to pay to extradite him or just set a new court date and hope he pays his own way home and shows up for it.

— Reporter: 541-383-0376, awieber@bendbulletin.com

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