PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE
November 25, 2003
Subject: Police Arrest Man In Identity Theft Fraud
On November 20, San Francisco police arrested a man for credit card fraud involving thousands of dollars of consumer electronics. Lavon Jones, 36, of San Francisco, was taken into custody after he had gone on a two-day spending spree at Circuit City on Van Ness Avenue, using counterfeit credit cards and a fake driver’s license, both in another person’s name, to open an instant store account.
After making purchases on November 19 with his new account, Jones returned to the store the next day and made more purchases. A store salesman, however, contacted the credit card company for which the suspect had a (fraudulent) card, learning from a representative that the description of the purchaser did not match that of the legitimate cardholder. After the transaction was completed, the salesman followed Jones out of the store, obtained the license plate number of the car into which Jones entered, and phoned police on his cell phone. Police located the parked car in a nearby location. Inside the vehicle, police found documents that led to Jones’ arrest later that day.
The sophistication of the counterfeit documents represents the ever-widening problem of identity fraud. Often, criminals get the information on which to base fraudulent documents from carelessly discarded printed material bearing a person’s personal information (name, address, credit card number). Citizens are urged to destroy unwanted printed material with personal information on it to prevent illegal use being made of it.
For more information, please contact:
Lieutenant Kenwade Lee
Inspector Julia Ford