Police in Orange and Los Angeles counties say that car theft via identity theft is on the rise.
Last month, a man pleaded not guilty to three car thefts using false identities. According to police, the man forged a driver’s license and falsified bank statements to steal high-value cars. The thefts, which exceeded $200,000, reflect an increasingly popular way to steal cars. The putative buyer poses as another individual, and provides a forged ID and financial statements. After taking “legal” possession of the vehicle, the thief drives off never to be seen again. Police report that thieves have used the identities of dead people, as well as fake Social Security numbers. They may also steal the identity of people with similar names to their own.
Victims may become aware that the identity theft only when the car company calls to collect on late payments. In this case, police recovered only one of three stolen vehicles, a 2018 Audi RS5. Two other vehicles, a 2019 Nissan 370Z and a 2018 Infiniti Q60 remain missing. According to court records, the thefts occurred between August 31 and September 8 in Orange County and in Cerritos.
The man faces three felony charges of unlawful taking of a vehicle. He also faces three enhancements of white-collar crime between $100K and $500K. In addition, he faces a felony charge of making false financial statements and using a forged driver’s license. The defendant denies all charges. He remains jailed without bail and will appear in court on November 20 for a preliminary hearing.
Cerritos identity theft attorney
When you face charges for identity crimes, hire an experienced identity theft attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense. He takes identity theft cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California.
Identity theft attracts a lot of attention, because it often facilitates other crimes. Identity theft has a broad definition. It can include everything from using someone else’s credit card to manufacturing false identities. Identity theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. It can also be charged as a state or federal offense.
Your best defense against identity theft charges is to hire an experienced, aggressive attorney. Don’t rely on an inexperienced lawyer and don’t attempt to represent yourself in court! Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County identity theft case.
Photo Credit: Automotive Rhythms, via Flickr.com