PROSPER (CBS 11 NEWS) – A group of neighbors in one North Texas city have been the unfortunate victims of identity theft. Now investigators are working to find out if one suspect is linked to all the cases.
More than 20 people in the town of Prosper, all from the same neighborhood, have recently had their personal information stolen.
Belinda Younglove is one of those victims. She told CBS 11’s Jack Fink she can’t stop worrying. “My biggest fear is we’re going to wake up and our bank account is going to be drained.”
Younglove said she feels violated after an thief stole her husband Geoff’s identity, and went on a shopping spree at a jewelry store in San Antonio. Prosper police obtained a picture of the suspect as he left the jewelry store in October.
Geoff Younglove explained that using his credit alone the thief is racking bills nearing $20,000. “It’s been about $16,000, between multiple stores, so far that we know of. I’m sure I’ll get another letter in the next couple of weeks or months potentially from somebody else.”
Geoff Younglove showed Jack Fink some of the charge statements. “Here’s the bill from Helzberg Diamonds, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s.”
While the Younglove’s received statements from all of those retailers not every store allowed the thief to buy merchandise. The couple still owns a home in the Lakes of Prosper subdivision, but recently moved to another neighborhood.
As many as 20 other homeowners in the Lakes of Prosper subdivision say they’re also identity theft victims.
Prosper police are investigating this most recent case, but warn that most identity thieves are good at disguising themselves electronically. “They know how to hide their IP addresses,” explained Officer Marty Nevil. “It’s very difficult to track these people down. They can be anywhere.”
Investigators are hoping someone will be able to identify the suspect from the store surveillance photo.