Pullman police made the first arrest in the fraud investigation that has involved hundreds of Pullman credit and debit cards Tuesday in Woodinville, Wash.
Michael Patrick Bell, 41, was arrested by police for identity theft, according to the Pullman Police Department's press release. Police also served Bell a search warrant for his residence.
Since mid-September, Pullman police have received more than 540 reports of fraud.
Bell is suspected of using the credit and debit information from at least five Pullman-based accounts, according to the press release. The cards were used at multiple locations throughout King County.
Members of the King County Sheriff’s Office, Woodinville Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force worked with Pullman detectives in this arrest, according to the press release.
Pullman Police Officer Aaron Brashears said Pullman detectives are still investigating the cyber-theft of the local debit and credit card information. The investigation will continue.
He said there may be future arrests.
Officials at the police department previously said they believe Pullman residents were victims of a large cyber-attack that likely occurred in May, June or July.
While the source of compromised information has not been confirmed, the owner of Dissmore’s IGA, Archie McGregor III, previously said he was contacted by the U.S. Secret Service and Pullman police in September about a possible security breach of the store’s financial system.
Officials at the Pullman Police Department also acknowledged that Dissmore’s IGA is the possible source of compromised information. However, it is still under investigation.
McGregor also said since being contacted by the authorities the store’s security system has been updated multiple times, and he assures costumers it is safe to shop there.