Archive for Friday, August 25, 2000

Stolen identity frustrates Ottawan

Police suspect thief paid for ticket, fine

August 25, 2000


An Ottawa man recently received in the mail a thank-you note for prompt payment of a speeding ticket and an overdue notice for DVDs rented from Hastings Books Music & Video in Lawrence.

The problem was 19-year-old Clint Callaghan didn't remember getting a speeding ticket, much less paying one.

"I think he may be doing it to more than me. That's what the police told me."

Clint Callaghan, identity theft victim

And he doesn't own a DVD player.

Did it feel like he was in "The Twilight Zone"?

"Yep," said the man who Lawrence Police think is a victim of identity theft.

And he may not be the only one.

"I think he may be doing it to more than me," Callaghan said Thursday. "That's what the police told me."

In fact, the suspect in Callaghan's case is being sought to face charges of "dealing in false identification documents," according to a Lawrence Police report.

"The ticket had my Social Security number," Callaghan said. "The address on the speeding ticket listed it as a new address. It was a Lawrence address."

Detective M.T. Brown, Lawrence Police Department spokesman, said Callaghan has witnesses to account for his whereabouts for the dates on the speeding ticket and the Hastings DVD rental.

The identity thief or thieves "paid the ticket, but it went on my record," Callaghan said.

Callaghan said whoever stole his identity did it by obtaining his Social Security number. He has no idea how or when it occurred.

Police say that the best way to avoid identity theft is to be careful about giving out personal information, especially a Social Security number, to unknown people or businesses.

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