Camilla identity thief connected to 100+ cases - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Camilla identity thief connected to 100+ cases

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) -

A new report from the Federal Government ranks Georgia 2nd in the country for identity theft.

Too often, the crooks get away with it.

But south Georgia investigators say they cracked more than 100 cases with one arrest and the investigation is just getting started.

Social Security Numbers. Dates of birth. What used to be meaningless intangibles, are now often gateways to criminal activities.

"Make sure you stay on top of your credit. Order your two free credit reports during the year. Anything suspicious pops up, contact those creditors. Find out when it was opened," said Investigator Chip Nix.

Bainbridge investigators say after recently receiving numerous complaints of fraud, they were able to trace online purchases back to 33-year old Ivory Lawton.

"Through subpoenaing the records of different credit cards and creditors that had been opened whether it had been cell phones, credit cards, things of that nature," said Nix.

But when Bainbridge Public Safety entered Lawton's Camilla home, they had no idea what they would find.

"She had approximately 100 to 200 other peoples' names, dates of births, and social security numbers and applications where they had filled out at different businesses," said Nix.

Investigators say it is rare to actually arrest a suspect in an identity theft case.

"It's not often that you actually make an arrest in these identity theft cases. It's very hard to run them down. It often covers multiple jurisdictions. Even other states," said Nix.

Investigators say they think Lawton had inside accomplices.

"We think that it was possible through filling out applications, different credit applications at some businesses. And it leaked out at no fault of the business other than employees," said Nix.

Lawton is charged with identity theft and financial transaction card fraud, which are both felonies.

Bainbridge Public Safety is working on the case along with the GBI, Secret Service, and the Camilla and Albany Police Departments.

 

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