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Most wanted identity thief may be hiding in Madera County

Sheriff John Anderson just learned Sept. 5 that 33-year old Corey James Sahagian of Fresno, one of Central California’s most prolific identity thieves, may be hiding out in Madera County.

Sahagian is wanted on a Federal no bail warrant, and he is this week’s #MSOFugitiveFriday MOST WANTED person.

Sahagian, who also goes by the names Corey James Smith and Corey James Sahagian-Smith, has brown hair, blue eyes, weighs about 180 pounds and stands 6 feet tall.

Sahagian is believed to be part of an identity theft ring that has preyed on both Fresno and Madera Counties. Just last month he was featured in Valley Crime Stoppers.

Two years ago, he was named Madera County’s Most Wanted when deputies discovered a stolen credit card had been used to rent a hotel room in Oakhurst.

On the morning of Monday July 9, 2012, a man later identified as Sahagian reportedly used a stolen credit card to check into the hotel located off Highway 41.

He had a female companion, who was described as being in her mid-30s, dark- skinned with a medium build, and standing roughly 5 feet 7 inches tall. She had short dark hair with tattoos on her arms.

At around 6:30 a.m. heavy foot traffic could be seen coming and going. Two males were spotted delivering property to the hotel room. The same two males were also seen driving in an older model black truck.

The driver of that truck was described as a white male in his mid-30s. He sported a blonde crew-cut and wore a red shirt. Two little girls were seen with the driver.

The other occupant had a beard.

The hotel clerk learned the credit card was stolen when the victim, who resides in Maryland, called the hotel, questioning the charge.

More purchases were made with that same card at a gas station and a donut shop.

When deputies arrived at the hotel, no one was in the room. They were, however, able to secure a search warrant, seizing property that included three laptops, one printer, one scanner, a bag containing hundreds of credit card numbers, a Magstripe reader, and a fixed blade knife.

During their search, detectives discovered more than two dozen victims – many of whom either lived or worked in Fresno County.

Anyone with information about Corey James Sahagian is urged to call either the Madera County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 675-7770 or CRIME STOPPERS at 498-STOP; or you can either email a tip to tips@valleycrimestoppers.org or submit a tip online at www.tipsubmit.com/WebTips.aspx?AgencyID=548.

Your tip to Crime Stoppers could be worth up $1,000. You can remain anonymous.

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