Theft of Cable Services
Theft of Cable Services
The NC3TF was contacted by Comcast Cable Corporate Security after Comcast became aware of a person that was obtaining an unusually large amount of Comcast equipment repeatedly in multiple Comcast stores. Through their own investigation into these accounts they found that the person obtaining the equipment was a Stephen Sheppard. Further investigation revealed that Sheppard had added himself to these accounts after they were open. A more thorough review of Comcast’s own accounts then identified 207 accounts that had gone to collections for non-payment that also had a Stephen Sheppard who was later added to the account. The loss to Comcast Cable for missing equipment and services related to Sheppard is $368,983.45.
During this initial investigation a person contacted Comcast to complain about their service being cancelled. This person told them that they had a made a one-time purchase through a person identified as “Steve the Cable Guy” where they purchased a cable box for $200.00 and were told by “Steve the Cable guy” that there would be no monthly payments. The cable box purchased by this person was in fact one of the many that Stephen Sheppard had obtained.
Over a 2 year period Comcast found that Sheppard had been receiving new equipment under these 207 accounts. At times Sheppard was obtaining as many as 15 Comcast Cable boxes per account. Comcast also found that Sheppard had been a contract Comcast cable installer at one time.
An NC3TF detective was the case. The NC3TF Detective was able to positively identify Stephen Sheppard and through surveillance video and phone records positively link him the opening of the 207 accounts. The 207 accounts were found to have been opened by Sheppard himself using the personal identifying information of others from across the country, none of which were or had ever been Comcast Cable customers.
A search warrant for Sheppard’s current residence in Richmond was obtained as well as w arrant for his arrest was obtained. On April 21, 2016, a search of Sheppard’s residence was conducted by the NC3TF where evidence further lining him to the crimes was located. Sheppard was not home at the time but was later located and arrested on the warrant. Sheppard was booked for violations of 530.5 PC: Identity Theft, 459 PC: Burglary, and 502 (c)(4) PC: Unauthorized access to a computer network.