Dozens of current and former Baton Rouge police officers fall victim to identity theft. It’s still an ongoing investigation but a U.S. Secret Service task force has taken a Baton Rouge man in custody.
Law enforcement spends their lives protecting the identities of its citizens, but many became the victims themselves. Chief of Police Jeff LeDuff explains, “Thirty plus police officers, current and retired, had their identities stolen.” 47-year-old Alton Davis of Baton Rouge is the suspect brought into custody Friday after an extensive investigation conducted by the U.S. Secret Service Southwest Financial Crimes Taskforce, but not before damage was done.
U.S. Attorney, David Dugas says, “Using that identifying information to open up accounts with stores with credit cards then using that credit to buy items which he subsequently fenced in order to try to get money.” Investigators say Davis obtained credit cards from retail stores here in Baton Rouge and throughout the state. With credit lines as much as $6,500, he purchased appliances, computers, and televisions. They say he would buy merchandise during the day and sell some of the items out of his car at night. “If you look at the surveillance obviously there are a couple of places where people were accompanying him or took possession of the items. We’re interested in tracking down the equipment, identifying the people who were buying the equipment.”
Investigators say Alton’s transactions can be traced to December, but believe the information was stolen back in 2005. Investigators are not only working on identifying how the suspect got his hands on the information, but the scope of the crime. It’s believed current and retired officers were targeted, but investigators say they’re not ruling out the possibility the crime extends beyond the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Authorities say there has not been any indication that other city parish employees identities were compromised. Still, they are urging those employed in those government positions as of 2005 to pay special attention to their finances. “No matter what you do for a living, I’m telling you this is a crime to pay close attention to and we have to manage.”
Alton Davis is scheduled to appear before a judge Wednesday.