Monroe man arrested in ‘sophisticated’ ID theft scheme

The suspect, 35, is accused of rerouting a man’s mail to a fake PO Box to help him steal his personal information.

EVERETT — An alleged identity thief in Monroe secretly halted mail delivery to another man’s home, opened up a fake PO Box in the victim’s name and used his stolen identity to buy a car — which he then totaled, according to police.

The suspect, 35, was “very elaborate” and “sophisticated” in his crime spree, Snohomish County sheriff’s detective Mike Hawthorne wrote in a report filed this week in Everett District Court.

Over the course of several months in 2020, the suspect stole a man’s Social Security number, opened bank accounts in his name and cashed checks using the accounts, according to the detective’s report. The Monroe man reportedly obtained an ID with a photo of himself, but with the man’s name on it. Detectives believe the suspect also bought a car under the stolen name, then crashed and totaled the vehicle in Oregon.

Marysville police arrested the man May 28 during a separate check fraud investigation. Detectives found a gun and fake IDs on him, with the same information stolen from the 2020 victim, according to the sheriff’s report. The kind of gun isn’t mentioned in the court papers.

Police booked the man into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of unlawful possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed pistol without a permit, first-degree identity theft, first-degree criminal impersonation, financial fraud and forgery.

The suspect’s bail was set at $10,000 on the firearms charges, then another $10,000 on the fraud charges at another court hearing Tuesday. The man posted bond and was released a few hours later.

In 2004, the suspect used a stolen check to buy a used Honda Civic from a Lynnwood dealership for $7,000, according to court records. He pleaded guilty to first-degree theft. A Snohomish County judge sentenced him to six months in jail.

In 2012, he was convicted of three counts of identity theft in two separate felony cases. In one of those cases, he used stolen checks to make purchases at a few different Snohomish County stores, including a Fred Meyer in Marysville and a Safeway in Monroe.

He was sentenced to just over four years in prison.

The man has also been convicted of attempting to elude police and possessing methamphetamine in 2005; unlawful possession of a firearm and domestic violence assault in the second degree in 2006; and felony theft in 2010, for stealing a box of new clothes from Eddie Bauer — Christmas presents — off a woman’s porch in Monroe.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; edennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen

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