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Cabbie gets jail for burglary, identity theft
January 25, 2013, 05:00 AM Daily Journal Staff Report

An East Bay taxi driver who prosecutors say bought thousands of dollars of electronic devices from stores at San Francisco International Airport last year using fake credit cards was sentenced yesterday to two years in the county jail.

But under the realignment rules, Vipan Kumar Sharma, 38, will spend one year in jail with the second year under mandatory supervision. He has credit of 238 days accumulated while in custody on $500,000 bail, leaving him only a few months left to serve for felony counts of burglary, identity theft and credit card fraud.

Sharma, of Hayward, went to Brookstone and Inmotion stores every couple of weeks to buy on average $1,200 worth of electronic good using credit cards in his name. About six weeks after a card was declined at Inmotion, he returned to try again but was told by store personnel he could only use cash. The store employees pieced together a string of nine frauds over two months and contacted the Sheriff's Office whose deputies arrested him Sept. 28, 2012 when he was recognized at Brookstone. He had 11 fake credit cards on him, each in his name but with the last four digits roughly scraped off and imprinted with new ones.

A probation search of his home revealed several more cards and dozens of electronic goods like a computer and video players still in boxes from Brookstone, according to the District Attorney's Office.

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