local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs



Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of August 7 - 13, 2002


Two Russians nabbed as trailhead credit card thieves

Express Staff Writer

Their suspicions honed by the new national mood of alertness, a hiker couple’s tip led to the arrest of two men identified as members of a Russian credit card theft ring operating throughout western states.

The two are believed to have used a new high-tech portable scanner to steal numbers from credit cards in vehicles parked at the Corral Creek trailhead, east of Sun Valley where hikers begin the trek to Pioneer Cabin.

The two men were identified as Nathaniel Rujoni, 31, of Seattle, and Silviu Sorescue, 33, of Las Vegas. They were first held in the Blaine County jail and then transferred to a federal detention center in Boise, where they face arraignment on charges of attempted burglary, possession of a counterfeiting device and criminal conspiracy.

While in county jail, Rujoni was held in lieu of $150,000 bond and Sorescu under a $50,000 bond.

Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling said the Secret Service and FBI also are involved in questioning the men, whom he said are part of a so-called Russian Mafia. Femling said the hope is that federal charges also will be filed against the pair.

The sheriff said thieves breaking into vehicles at trailheads and stealing credit cards had chalked up $170,000 in stolen cash in two years.

Behind their arrests was the telephoned tip from hikers Sharon and Brian Kantor, of Portland, who thought it was odd for the men to be reclining in their car seats in late afternoon at the Corral Creek trailhead.

Returning to the trailhead, the Kantors saw the men hurriedly leaving the area in a rented SUV. The Kantors drove to a telephone, called 911 and within a matter of an hour Ketchum and Sun Valley police and sheriff’s deputies stopped the two men.

Unlike other trailhead car break-ins in which wallets with credit cards were stolen, Rujoni and Sorescu opened cars then used a small, high-tech scanner through which they could swipe credit cards to copy numbers, replace the cards in wallets, and then be gone without the owners detecting any immediate loss, Femling said.

He said that with a search warrant, authorities will be able to download the credit card numbers from the small scanner that were allegedly stolen to determine the names of victims.

Femling said the scanner could be plugged into a computer to make new credit cards with the stolen numbers. The thieves then could use the fake cards to obtain large amounts of cash, he said.

Local and federal law enforcement agencies throughout the West, Sheriff Femling said, have formed a task force to apprehend the roaming credit card thieves.



Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.