Chauffeur Assists Police in Catching Identity Thief

Posted on June 11, 2002 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

A Blackstone Limousine Service in Renton, Wash., helped police apprehend an identity thief who had rented a vehicle for the evening using someone else?s credit card.

Tyler Lehmann, president of the company and the chauffeur participating in the sting operation, said the suspect wanted to reserve a vehicle for 18 hours, which the company considered an extensive time period. ?They wanted to rent it for as much as they could get on a credit card,? he said.

The caller attempted to make the reservation with a different credit card at first, which did not go through. ?The second one went through, but the accent of the person ordering the vehicle and the name on the credit card didn?t really sound like they belonged to each other,? Lehmann said. ?On top of that, it was late at night, the pickup address was somewhat suspicious; there were just a lot of things that raised red flags.?

The company called Jodi Henderson, the name on the credit card, to confirm the reservation. Jodi Henderson was surprised to find out someone was using her credit card, and the limousine company then contacted the Auburn police. They instructed Lehmann to get a signature on the contract and the reservation printout from the company?s FastTRACK reservation system.

?They were looking to get the guy to sign something saying he was this individual with this credit card, basically saying he was impersonating this person,? Lehmann said. He was instructed to pull out of the pickup location, turn the corner and pull into the warehouse district in the area, about 15 miles south of Seattle. The police set up a traffic stop, at which point Lehmann got out of the vehicle and the police made their arrest.

Four people were in the stretch Excursion (manufactured by Executive Coach), and police found a bag containing approximately 60 sets of individual information ? bank accounts, credit cards, social security cards and driver?s licenses. Police apprehended the man who signed the contract and printout. The man is awaiting trial in the next month on an earlier charge for similar crimes, according to Lehmann.

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