Crook accused of identity theft on the loose

Crook accused of identity theft on the loose

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (WSVN) — A suspected crook is accused of stealing $12,000 from a South Florida man.

Surveillance video captured the crook making fraudulent purchases at numerous stores. Investigators said the crook is part of an identity theft ring who went on a $12,000 shopping spree in Kendall and Homestead, at the victim’s expense.

“I’ve never used a store card in my life, and suddenly I’m applying for store cards all over the place, and they’re extending huge lines of credit, so that these people could buy computers and all kinds of stuff that I would never purchase,” said Robert Chavez. “It’s just too easy right now.”

Chavez, a father of four children with another one on the way, is concerned the crook is committing other crimes at the victim’s expense.

Detectives said the crook used the victim’s card at Target, Best Buy and Kohl’s and store employees noticed something was amiss with the crook’s peeling driver’s license. Authorities said the thief also used a fraudulent license that had all of Chavez’s correct information but bared the thief’s picture.

A Kohl’s loss prevention officer, who was alerted by a cashier, used surveillance video to follow the culprit to the parking lot and to his vehicle.

El Portal Police said the video is a critical piece of evidence to this common crime. “The security individual at Kohl’s did more than what normally a loss prevention officer would do,” said El Portal Police Detective David Adlet. “I think he went above and beyond.”

Although Chavez will not be held liable for the fraudulent charges, he hopes the crook will be caught and put behind bars. “I hope somebody out there sees him and can recognize him and just call and catch him,” said Chavez.

If you recognize the man caught on camera, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.

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