Vacaville police uncovered a string of identity thefts stemming from a local restaurant that victimized hundreds and are now advising residents to check their bank statements to see if they, too, have fallen prey.

The investigation centers around Nation's Giant Hamburgers, 100 Browns Valley Parkway, Vacaville. Authorities became aware of the rash of thefts, which police have referred to as "large-scale," in early March. Since that time, nearly 200 people have been identified as victims after making purchases at the restaurant, police said. Still, authorities think that many more could have been victimized but may not be aware of it.

"We know the point of compromise was the Nation's restaurant," said Vacaville police Sgt. Jeff King. "Now we need to figure out where the breach took place."

The investigation started after numerous reports were filed with police as well as financial institutions notifying them of fraudulent charges. According to King, the one commonality in the reports was the restaurant.

Fraud investigators from the Vacaville Police Department contacted representatives from Nation's Giant Hamburgers and made them aware of the crimes, according to police. Authorities said the restaurant's representatives are cooperating with police to identify the breach in their security.

Many of the fraudulent transactions occurred on the East Coast, Arizona and in Mexico, police said. So far, authorities said that they have identified 10 financial institutions with customers who were victims of the thefts.

Police are encouraging anyone who used a credit card at the Nation's restaurant in Vacaville within the last three months to review their bank statements for any irregularities.

"What we want right now is to identify all of the victims," King said.

Police said the problem with the credit card machines appears to have been corrected but authorities are continuing to investigate the case, which is leaving a money trail that runs through numerous cities, states and countries.

According to authorities, anyone who thinks they are a victim of identity theft should first notify their financial institution and then file a police report with their local law enforcement agency.

Vacaville residents can file a police report by calling 449-5200 or at the front counter of the Vacaville Police Department, 660 Merchant St. Reports can also be filed online at http://www.cityofvacaville.com/departments/police/reportingonl.php.