2 arrested in identity theft, extortion scheme - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

2 arrested in identity theft, extortion scheme

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Sara Hartwig and Charline Hurtado Sara Hartwig and Charline Hurtado
PHOENIX -

Police have arrested two women who they say stole a woman's purse, then proceeded to assume her identity and send her family death threats.

Sara Hartwig, 28, and Charline Hurtado, 24, are facing charges of taking another's identity and extortion.

On May 10, a 35-year-old victim had her purse stolen from her car while getting gas at 25th Ave and Camelback. The items stolen included numerous items of identification, credit cards, banking information, passports, and other documents.

The victim saw unauthorized use of her bank account and fraudulent utility payments, and attempted to cancel her cards.

Police say the victim's family then began to receive death threats unless they paid the suspects $10,000. And when the suspects couldn't remove any more cash from the victim's account, they began to harass the victim and her family. Using the victim's own personal information against her, they had her electricity turned off, and called in false police reports about her family.

Detectives finally identified the suspects as Hartwig and Hurtado by phone records. They were arrested on Wednesday and admitted their involvement in the case, according to Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump.

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