Deputies raid Pei Wei in search of ID theft suspectsPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation into identity theft at the national restaurant chain Pei Wei.
On Friday, deputies armed with search warrants were at Pei Wei's corporate offices in Scottsdale and four Pei Wei Asian Diner locations in the Valley.
Those locations are Glendale Avenue and Seventh Street in Phoenix, Indian School Road and 44th Street in Phoenix, Guadalupe Road and McClintock Drive in Tempe, and Shea and Palisades boulevards in Fountain Hills.
The deputies were reportedly looking for as many as 121 potential suspects of ID theft.
At the corporate headquarters, boxes of documents and computer databases were seized.
Arpaio said the investigation began in June after the sheriff's office received a tip that several employees were illegal immigrants.
According to Arpaio, the investigation has more than 100 victims who wish to aid in the prosecution of those stealing U.S. citizens' identification information to unlawfully secure employment in the United States.
"That's one thing that makes this operation unusual," Arpaio said. "People apparently are fed up with the ID theft problem and the problems ID theft cause and are willing to help law enforcement to ensure the successful prosecution of this kind of crime."
The investigation showed that most of the victims whose identities may have been stolen live out of state; eight of them are children under the age of 12 and four of them are dead.
MCSO says a total of 26 people were taken into custody.
There are 19 Pei Wei locations in Arizona.
Pei Wei posts that it complies with E-Verify.