Florida man arrested in Owatonna for identity theft

OWATONNA — A Florida man is currently being held at the Steele County Detention Center after he allegedly used a false name to purchase more than $7,100 of merchandise from Cabela’s and Kohl’s in Owatonna.

Michel V. Oberto-Galban, 35, of Hialeah, Fla., was charged with one count of identity theft on Monday in Steele County District Court. The crime carries a penalty of up to 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine.

According to a criminal complaint submitted by the Owatonna Police Department, the police received information that two suspects were making fraudulent transactions at the local businesses.

Oberto-Galban entered Cabela’s on Oct. 3 where he allegedly applied and received a card under the name of another Florida man. According to the complaint, he was using two separate cell phones and viewing one as if he was taking information from it.

After receiving a card, Oberto-Galban went to the fishing department and requested a 10-inch sonar, which the store was out of. After that, he went to the optics counter where he used the card to purchase a set of binoculars for $3,271.42 with the warranty, according to the complaint.

After purchasing the binoculars, Oberto-Galban left the store. According to the police report, he returned to the store a half hour later and purchased two sonar devices, again with the card, totaling $3,592.03. After making the purchase, Oberto-Galban left again in a rented black Ford Fusion.

After leaving Cabela’s, Oberto-Galban went to Kohl’s in Owatonna and used a fraudulent card that was opened in Bloomington earlier that day. According to the criminal complaint, he used the card to purchase shoes, clothing and gift cards over two separate purchases. The merchandise and the gift cards totaled more than $300.

According to the complaint, Oberto-Galban opened another card at the Cabela’s in Rogers on Oct. 7 under a second false name. He used the fraudulent Kohl’s card at stores in Bloomington and Eagan, as well.

According to the complaint, Oberto-Galban was scheduled to return the rented vehicle on Oct. 14 and it was believed he would have left the state.

Oberto-Galban’s initial appearance in court was on Monday where his bail was set at $40,000 without conditions because he was considered a flight risk. On Wednesday, he appeared in court with his attorney and his bail was kept at the same amount. He will next appear in court on Nov. 13.

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