Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Local Car Salesman Arrested, Charged With ID Theft

By Som Lisaius, KOLD News 13

His legal name is John Clement Savage III, but he almost has as many names as he does different faces. A suspected identity thief wanted in at least three states, most recently Tucson, Arizona, where he worked as a salesman at Quebedeaux Pontiac-GMC.

"Our concern is," United States Postal Inspector David Birch says, "we just want to make sure that all the victims have been notified or made aware. If there are other victims (we want to know)."

Dating back to last October, authorities say Savage--who then went by the name George Robert Harris--ripped off the identity of customers at the east-speedway dealership. Since then, Savage left the state and moved to Tennessee. That's where he was arrested and charged with multiple counts of identity theft.

Says Inspector Birch, "When he was arrested, he indicated he was in charge of shredding some information, customer information and he--instead of shredding it--kept it and used that information for his own benefit."

"He had my husband's drivers license. He had everything of my husband's. Our address, our home phone number, my name. Everything."

Naomi Rodriguez and her husband bought a GMC pickup at Quebedeaux last fall, just before he was deployed to Iraq. About two months later, Naomi started receiving all sorts of information about loans and new lines of credit.

Turns out, somebody had a hold of her husband's information. Information that savage reportedly stole while working for Quebedeaux late last year.

Says Naomi, "They still to this day have not contacted me with an apology or just letting me know we found out this happened to you, we are sorry--nothing. Not once have we been contacted by them."

We spoke with Quebedeaux's general manager this afternoon and he says he was unaware of any local victims. He did confirm that this man worked at the dealership for a short period of time, but said it would be premature to comment further without knowing all the facts.

(Cruelly covering their behinds - AFI)

As for Naomi Rodriguez, she realizes bad things happen. But based on her experience with Quebedeaux, she'll never look at this dealership the same.

"I'm really upset with Quebedeaux. I understand Quebedeaux is a victim also by him because he fraudulently worked there and I understand that; I respect that. But as a company when you know you have sensitive information you need to take full blown responsibility for things like this that happen."

(Exactly right! - AFI)

Says Inspector Birch, "As a customer you want your information protected. In order to apply for credit to purchase certain items at a dealership, you need to be able to provide that information and all it takes is one bad seed."

If you applied for credit at Quebedeaux between March and December of last year, authorities suggest taking a close look at your credit. If you suspect foul play, you're asked to contact the US Postal Inspectors or the Tucson Police Department.

Original article found here.

Wow. Actual examples really increase my awareness of identity theft. I hope this guy get's what he deserves.


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