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Prolific Identity Thief Found Passed Out at a California Gas Station

Okabe & Haushalter Mar 15, 2019 Computer Crime
  • A car with no license plates stopped at a gas station for more than 30 minutes
  • A passed out driver with one foot on the brake while the car was running and in gear
  • Drug paraphernalia visible on the console
  • Stolen goods inside of the car
  • A computer with evidence of identity theft

It did not take a lot of investigative work to discover that something was not right when police stumbled onto the above-described scene in California recently. San Francisco computer crimes defense attorneys know that as is typical in many criminal cases, it may take just one police observation or second look that leads to an investigation, which then turns up criminal evidence.

Factors that led to discovery and arrest

It does not appear that the police were in pursuit of the suspect in this case, but instead they happened upon him by accident. A police officer reportedly observed the suspect’s vehicle parked at a gas station in the North Bay area and noticed that it did not have license plates. The police officer watched the car for approximately 30 minutes before approaching the vehicle and peering inside. Upon looking inside the vehicle, he noticed both the suspect passed out at the wheel of the running vehicle and drug paraphernalia located on the vehicle’s console. Police were eventually able to wake the suspect and search his vehicle.

Content discovered during the vehicle search

Contents located inside of the suspect’s vehicle included drug paraphernalia, a computer and printer, government identification cards, checkbooks, credit information, mail, and other items, all belonging to a number of different people. The computer is believed to contain evidence of identity theft. Additionally, police found a replica handgun and tools used for car thefts and breaking and entering. The suspect allegedly has prior criminal charges including identity theft and forgery. He was arrested on suspicion of possession of stolen property and burglary tools.

Types of computer crimes

Identity theft and other types of computer crimes have been on the rise with digital advancements and the continually increasing amount of personal information stored online. Common types of computer crimes include:

  • Identity theft
  • Hacking
  • Credit card fraud
  • Insurance fraud
  • Ransomware attack
  • Child pornography
  • Cyberbullying and stalking
  • Spoofing
  • Cracking
  • Information harvesting
  • Unauthorized access
  • Phishing
  • Intellectual property rights violations and threats

Wrongly accused

Especially frightening about computer crime accusations is that often the accused is a computer owner or user who had no knowledge of the crimes taking place. This often happens when more than one person has access to the same computer. It can also happen when a user does not intend to commit a crime, such as accidentally opening an attachment or downloading a file that has child pornography on it.

If you are being investigated or you have been accused of computer crimes, contact a San Francisco computer crime defense attorney at Okabe and Haushalter to discuss your case. Computer crimes convictions can carry heavy fines and sentences, which is why you need an expert team of defense attorneys to handle your case.