Thursday, July 14, 2005

Police crack identity theft case

By SUE WATSON
Staff Writer

A suspect has been arrested and charged with felony in an identity theft case, plus computer equipment valued at $2,500 has been recovered, according to Holly Springs Police Chief Patricia Selman.

She said the case, which opened in Tate County following a report from the victim to the sheriff’s department in December 2004, has been under investigation by Holly Springs police since February.

Selman did not release the name of the suspect, who has been released from jail on $5,000 bond, pending completion of the investigation. She said computer equipment recovered during the investigation was being used by the suspect to run a business. The suspect is a Holly Springs resident and the crime was committed in Marshall County, she said.

“We think there may be other suspects involved,” she said.

Penalties for a conviction of a felony crime of this nature include a fine of up to $5,000, and/or a maximum of five years imprisonment in the state penitentiary and restitution, she said.

The case was broken with the arrest of the suspect two weeks ago, Selman said.

“They were making purchases off someone’s identity information,” she said.

Police investigators recovered four Dell Computers and two photo printers, equipment used by the suspect, Selman said. More purchases using the victim’s identity information are expected to be uncovered as the investigation continues, she said.

In other matters, Selman warned that pigeon drop scams are still being reported in Holly Springs and that the elderly, who are frequent targets of such scams, should beware. Local business parking lots have been used as places where the scam artists arrange to meet the victim, she said.

Two other incidents were reported to police during the week of July 4-11.

On July 4 a breaking and entering was reported in the 100 block of East Martin Street. Entry appeared to have been made by breaking out a glass door of a residence. Nothing was reported missing.

A grand larceny report was made July 11. The victim states that a laptop computer with case and a credit card were missing from the victim’s vehicle located in the 300 block of Cedar Hills Road.

Anyone having information regarding these or any other incidents are asked to contact police at 662-252-2122 or Crime Stoppers at 800-729-2169.

Selman said the department is planning to participate in National Night Out, Tuesday, Aug. 2, at 7 p.m. The program is used to promote community safety awareness and solidarity in protecting home dwellers and their property.

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