In August 2017 a Nissan Xterra was stolen from the driveway of a home on the 1500-block of Zarvis Place. The vehicle was unlocked and a spare key was inside the SUV when it was taken. Two months later, in October 2017, an officer with APD’s Community Action Policing Team (CAP) spotted the vehicle parked in Walmart’s parking lot on Old Seward. The license plate displayed on the Xterra had since been replaced with a plate stolen from another vehicle.
When the Nissan was recovered by police, it was full of property to include drug paraphernalia. After a search warrant was obtained, officers searched the vehicle and recovered several items to include checks, multiple IDs, and credit cards that had been stolen. Many of those items had been placed into a large binder.
This was one of the first cases where police had come across a large quantity of stolen IDs that the thieves had taken the time to itemize and store so that the identities on the items could easily be accessed for fraudulent purposes. The main suspect in this case passed away before he could be charged with the theft.
Property Crimes Detectives are currently investigating other cases wherein multiple forms of IDs were stolen and cataloged by criminals so they may use the information for their own purposes. Detectives are now seeing thieves taking the time to organize personal information collected from those they have stolen from.[xyz-ihs snippet=”adsense-body-ad”]What can you do? First and foremost, do not leave any personal items in your vehicle. Much of the time thieves are getting their hands on other people’s driver’s licenses, social security cards, birth certificates, and checks by stealing them from vehicles. Between gathering these documents, and doing internet searches on the personal information they do obtain, the thieves are able to commit identity fraud. Unspent or partially unspent gift cards are also a hot commodity for criminals.
If your purse and/or wallet is stolen, immediately contact your banks and credit card companies to alert them of the theft. Do not carry around credit cards that you do not use every day. Unless you need the documents for a specific purpose, don’t ever carry your social security card or birth certificate with you. Those items should always be stored in a secure location. It’s also a good idea to keep a list of the credit cards you do own, so in the event they are stolen, you know exactly what was taken and who you need to call. Pay attention to your monthly bank and credit card statements to make sure no unauthorized activity has occurred. Do regular checks of your credit history for the same reason.
There are people out there whose sole purpose is to steal from others. Protect your belongings and personal information so that you do not become a victim. The damage one person can do to your credit history can take you years to sort out and repair.