8 arrested in MCSO identity-theft raid on Phoenix business


by Catherine Holland


Posted on September 20, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Updated Thursday, Sep 20 at 11:52 AM

Map: 1904 E. Washington St.

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PHOENIX -- Maricopa County sheriff's deputies arrested eight of nine identity-theft suspects during an early morning raid on a Phoenix business.

In the culmination of an investigation that started with a tip back in January, deputies converged on NU Look Revinyling at 19th and Washington streets Thursday morning.

Investigators developed information leading them to believe as many as nine employees are in the country illegally and had used false identifications to get their jobs. Sheriff Joe Arpaio said his deputies arrested eight of those suspects.

"Some tried to escape or hide in mattresses," Arpaio said.

According to MCSO, two of the suspects were using the same Social Security number, one that belong to a deceased person.

Arpaio has been diligent in his enforcement of the employers sanctions law. This morning's operation is the 66th of its kind since 2008.

Enacted in 2007, the employer sanction law imposes penalties on businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Arpaio said the tip that sparked the investigation was called into the MCSO hotline in January.

"That's how we do it," he said. "We take time. We check records, execute search warrants. We've done over 600 arrests, and 100 percent of those arrests pertain to people working here illegally in this county."

Arpaio said Thursday morning's raid was planned long before the "show me your papers" provision of SB-1070 went into effect, which was earlier this week.

"We've had this planned -- and had this day planned -- way before that decision on 1070," he said.

In business since 1996, NU Look Revinyling bills itself on Yahoo! Local as "the largest patio furniture company in Arizona." It specializes in refurbishing faded and broken outdoor furniture. According to MCSO, the company employs 25 people.