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Police Bust Duo Linked to a String of Fraud

Two New York men were arrested Tuesday night with numerous counterfeit credit cards and one bogus driver's license after a failed attempt to use a fake credit card at Rite Aid.

Police arrested two New York men Tuesday for allegedly attempting to use a counterfeit credit card at Rite Aid Pharmacy, 435 Main Street, and using one for a purchase at , 172 Main Street. In addition to the Monroe businesses, police have linked the duo to similar incidents around the country.

Dequan Bates, 21, of Grant Street in Hempstead was charged with sixth-degree larceny, eight counts of unlawful reproduction of a credit card, eight counts of second-degree forgery, eight counts of identity theft and possession of a recording device. Bond was set at $20,000.

Jerome Ravenell, 30, of York Street in Brooklyn was charged with unlawful reproduction of a credit card and conspiracy to commit identity theft. Bond was set at $10,000.

Police said neither man made bond and that both were arraigned at court on Wednesday morning.

At around 9:41 Tuesday night, Rite Aid employees told police that a "tall black male" had attempted to use a counterfeit credit card in their store. The suspect left the store and was heading south on Main Street in a white Chevrolet driven by another black male, police said.

An officer on patrol located the vehicle in the parking lot of the Mobil gas station on Main Street and saw the driver in the car and a second man, who fit the description given by Rite Aid, exiting the store, according to the Monroe Police Department press release. He was later identified as Dequan Bates.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Jerome Ravenell.

Police said the ensuing investigation determined that they were the two men involved in the incident at Rite Aid. Both were placed under arrest.

A subsequent search of the vehicle yielded multiple counterfeit credit cards and a fraudulent driver's license, according to the press release. Officers were able to determine that the counterfeit credit cards had been used at area stores, including the Mobil gas station, as well as multiple locations around the United States.

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