Man arrested after raid at his home

Michael Phan Nguyen is facing charges in connection with an alleged theft ring

December 15, 2010 3:42:53 PM PST
Neighbors say their suspicions have been confirmed after authorities raided a home in southwest Houston and uncovered a lot more than they expected. Prosecutors say the arrest could be a piece of a larger organized theft ring. Neighbors we spoke with say they saw the signs. Michael Nguyen remains behind bars at the Harris County Jail without bond and his legal troubles are mounting.

After $180,000 worth of Dell laptop computers were stolen from a loaded trailer in Round Rock, the company was able to trace one of them to the southwest Houston home where Michael Nguyen, 23, was living. Houston police were called to investigate and found more than they bargained for.

Instead of the laptops, police say they discovered stolen firearms, a device used to make phony credit cards and more than 250 debit cards and gift cards that may have been altered. Investigators say at the time Nguyen had been out on bond for possessing the names and Social Security numbers of more than 50 people.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney John Brewer explained, "Typically that means they are going to use them, often times to create credit cards, to create fake identification, to create forged checks that they can pass with the fake identification."

Nguyen's next door neighbor told us shortly after his arrest she watched as police raided his home, seizing box after box of unidentified merchandise.

"This is a quiet neighborhood," said Karen Bowles. "It's really quiet. We don't have a lot of action here."

Police say Nguyen told them he bought and sold two of the stolen laptops but the investigation continues. Investigators tell me they believe Nguyen was making counterfeit gift cards and then using those cards to buy laptops which he would then resell overseas.


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