Identity Theft Suspect Arrested in Thunderbolt - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

02/27/06

Identity Theft Suspect Arrested in Thunderbolt

You hear about identity theft, but very seldom do you hear about the suspect ever getting caught. One man wasn't so lucky thanks to a routine traffic stop in Thunderbolt.

Flipping through boxes of evidence, investigators are just starting to get an idea of what they're dealing with, and how many people's identities have been compromised.

"Probably at least 10, 15 that we know about right now," said Chief Irene Pennington of the Thunderbolt Police Department.

And of course, that number could go up. Chief Pennington says 30-year-old Maurice Thomas has only been in the Thunderbolt area for a couple months, and doesn't know a lot about where he's been before now. But somewhere along the way, he's accrued tens of thousands of dollars worth of purchases, and has done a thorough job of it.

"It's a complete history, and credit cards have been obtained, names, and lots of things have been purchased," Pennington said.

Police say tracking down the victims might not be easy, but they're trying. "We have contacted one individual who does not live here," Chief Pennington told us. "His credit card and so forth was used, and he's not real happy right now."

Thomas has at least three aliases that investigators know of at this point, and they're holding him for more than just the ID charges. He's also got a parole violation and assault on an officer. "When they were going to arrest him on a probation warrant, he decided to run, and when they caught up to him, he struggled and fought and struck the officers," explained Pennington.

Police confiscated at least one computer and several disks. They are trying to figure out the extent of these identity thefts. Investigators are not sure if any of the victims are from the Savannah area.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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