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OGDEN — When someone else used Anthony Salazar’s credit card, it wasn’t the dollar amount that caught his attention.
“(I was) up until like 5 o’clock in the morning,” Salazar said. “Getting all of my accounts turned off, and new accounts activated, just so I can stop any fraudulent activity.”
The charge was for a $3 can of Red Bull, Salazar says. It happened after some movers helped him move into his new home. He says the two men were friendly and made him feel comfortable, which is ultimately why he let his guard down.
“I bamboozled myself because at the end of the day, it was something that was preventable,” Salazar said. “And I just didn’t do the due diligence of protecting my own stuff and someone took advantage.”
For a case that may seem like small potatoes, Ogden Police detective Rachel Walker says she gave it her full attention.
“Each person that reports a crime is the victim, so I try to give it the same amount of effort,” Walker explained. “Because that person still feels victimized enough that they want to take the time to make a report.”
Walker started looking into the moving company employees, comparing them to images caught on surveillance video, as someone later tried to take cash advances out on Salazar’s card. Along the way, she noticed something fishy.
“As I was going through information for one of the subjects, that credential, it was a counterfeit ID,” Walker said.
Walker, another detective, and an agent with Immigration Customs and Enforcement went to a Salt Lake City home where they found 33-year-old Cody James Tripp. Walker compared him to a man seen in surveillance video.
“He doesn’t appear to be the suspect that was on video in my case,” Walker said.
Tripp did, however, end up having an active warrant for a murder case back in 2012. Investigators, in Alameda County, California say a 29-year-old Jordan Vigil, was found dead inside his garage in what they described as a "bloody mess." Tripp is listed as one of the County’s most wanted on the sheriff’s office website.
“What appear to be small leads are sometimes huge,” Walker said.
Salazar says someone later managed to get $100 dollars on a cash advance from one of his cards, and whoever it is still has his social security card as well.
“The fact that someone was a murder suspect and they went through my house, that was a little unnerving,” Salazar said. “I am happy that we were able to get a murder suspect off the streets because of all this.”
What he also finds upsetting; the fact that he felt the movers at the time did a great job.
“The $45 tip, that’s what gets me the most mad,” Salazar said, laughing it off.
Tripp will be extradited to California to face charges there. Walker said they are still working to determine exactly who stole Salazar's credit cards and bought the $3 Red Bull.