Sarasota cops accuse 37 of stealing personal information
SARASOTA, FL – A 37-year-old man has been charged with using the personal information of a Longboat Key resident to take out a loan on an all-terrain vehicle for $ 21,179.54, according to Sarasota police.
Brent Acord of Fort Myers has been charged with theft over $ 20,000 and criminal use of personal information over $ 5,000 in connection with the April 29 purchase of a 2020 Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Deluxe at Hap’s Honda, 2530 17th Street in Sarasota.
“The victim told police that an unknown person was fraudulently using their personal information to obtain credit to purchase a vehicle,” agency judge Geneviève said on Tuesday, announcing the charges.
“The victim discovered the fraudulent activity when she received a letter regarding a vehicle loan that she did not open,” the judge said. “Sarasota Police detectives learned in April 2020 that the same suspect had used information from the same victim to purchase a powersports vehicle from a business in Punta Gorda.”
In August, forensic technicians with the Sarasota Police Department found latent fingerprints on the Sarasota company’s application documents.
“It was determined that the fingerprints belonged to Acord,” the judge said.
Acord was arrested by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on Friday on unrelated charges of failure to appear. Acord was charged with the Sarasota case at that time.
The judge said people should pay attention to unusual withdrawals from their bank accounts, unknown bills or calls about unknown debts.
The Federal Trade Commission suggests that people take the following steps if they think they are victims of identity theft:
- Call businesses where you know fraud has taken place
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and get copies of the reports
- File a police report with your local law enforcement agency
You can also reduce your risk and protect your identity by taking the following steps, according to the FTC:
- Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often
- Know your payment due dates. If an invoice doesn’t arrive on time, review it
- Shred all documents containing personal and financial information
- Review each of your credit reports at least once a year
To report a tip, call Detective Ross Revill at 941-263-6092 or leave an anonymous tip at Crime Stoppers at 941-366-TIPS or via www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.
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