Chandler police seek 6 suspects in jewelry fraud ringPosted: Updated:
CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Chandler police are asking for the public's help to locate six men believed to be involved in a jewelry fraud ring.
Police said beginning in October 2009, Edward Brueggemeyer, 46; James Whalen, 44; Robert Polmanteer, 40; Steven White, 49; Daniel Marquez, 20; and Levi Sifuentes, 21, engaged in a series of fraudulent jewelry transactions across Maricopa County.
Detective Seth Tyler said the suspects purchased large quantities of stainless-steel bracelets and necklaces, stamped the jewelry with 14 karat, 18 karat and .750 identifiers, then either pawned the items or received cash as scrap gold from gold-licensed dealers.
Investigators estimate the scheme yielded the suspects $150,000 in Arizona alone and as much as $500,000 across Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and throughout the southwestern United States.
Marquez and Sifuentes were arrested in February.
Brueggemeyer has been identified as the mastermind with Whalen as the second-in-command. Investigators believe the motive behind the scheme is to support the suspects' daily methamphetamine habit.
Tyler said 38 counts of forgery, fraudulent schemes and theft are pending against all six suspects.
Currently, their whereabouts are unknown. Brueggemeyer is a former pawn shop owner and may be in Texas and Whalen may be in New Mexico.
Anyone with information regarding the suspects, or any additional crimes, is asked to contact police at 480-782-4130.