Feds: One-man identity theft crime spree involved several victims, stores and cities

Reynaldo Martinez is charged with a slew of state and local charges, including access device fraud and aggravated identity theft. Photos: RI Most Wanted

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — His face was the same, but federal investigators allege his name changed as often as his shopping choices, which included several big name retailers in a number of local communities.

But Reynaldo Martinez did not buy the nearly $40,000 in furniture and electronics with his own money, according to a federal indictment that sent the Central Falls resident to the Wyatt Detention Center, where he’s charged with a slew of state and local charges, including access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The document alleges Martinez bought “identification information” of at least six people from someone who lived in Rhode Island and shopped at a variety of stores in a variety of locations, including a Best Buy in Warwick, a Kohl’s in Seekonk, a Saks Fifth Avenue in Boston and a Verizon in Mansfield. He’s also accused of spending thousands on furniture at a Cardi’s Furniture and a Raymour and Flanigan.

According to documents, Martinez “bragged to [federal Secret Service] agents,” saying in some cases he sold the furniture to “drug dealers in the Providence area.”

Martinez also allegedly used his own aliases, including the names Lamar Johnson and Chunky Martines.

One of the last stops on the eight-community crime spree was in early May at the Seekonk Kohl’s, where investigators allege Martinez used a Connecticut man’s driver’s license and credit card to buy a pair of watches.

By then, the feds were on Martinez’s trail, matching pictures on Rhode Island’s Most Wanted with surveillance video from several stores.

Three weeks later, Martinez’s apartment on Roosevelt Street in Central Falls was raided and he was arrested.

A search warrant affidavit for a laptop confiscated at the apartment said Martinez “admitted to investigators” that he has been involved with “identity theft” since he was released from a two-year sentence for identity theft.

The most recent spree covered about a year of alleged crimes, from June 2016 to May 2017, according to the indictment.

Martinez is currently locked up at the Wyatt Detention Center until trial for a number of reasons including prior probation violations and his use of aliases and false documents.

Send tips to Target 12 Investigator Walt Buteau at wbuteau@wpri.com and follow him on Twitter @wbuteau