Sonoma Police are looking for a persistent thief who has victimized local jewelry stores to the tune of nearly $7,000, using a forged credit card and the story that he wants to buy his mother a present for her 60th birthday.
The suspect, using a California ID in the name of “Ryan Mahoney” and a bogus Bank of America Visa card, entered at least four jewelry shops in Sonoma and one in Healdsburg, running the same scam each time.
Typically the card would be declined, but a clerk would then enter the card numbers manually and the transaction would go through.
On Jan. 14, the man tried to purchase a $3,200 gold bracelet at Filigree Estate Jewelers, but when the card was declined he left.
An alert employee called Sonoma police, who then contacted other local jewelry stores and discovered that three of them had been victimized.
On Jan. 13, the same “Ryan Mahoney” used the bogus card to buy a rose gold bracelet worth $1,995 at Halem & Co. in Sonoma. The same day, he used the card to buy a gold bracelet worth $2,262 at Studio Collections, and then on Jan. 14, he bought a $2,610 gold bracelet at Vineyard Jewelers.
The account number on the fraudulent card was drawn on a bank in Toronto.
The suspect was captured on security cameras inside one store and driving away from another. He appeared to be driving a red Honda Fit, or other very similar compact car, and is described as a white male between 20 and 30 years old, about 5-feet, 10-inches tall, weighing about 170 pounds.
He had a shaved head with a receding hairline and wore a dark-colored, long-sleeved, button-down dress shirt, dark-colored dress pants and dark dress shoes. He had an indistinguishable tattoo with a large letter “Z” or “N” on his left forearm.
Anyone seeing the suspect should call the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office property crimes unit at