According to police in Plano, Texas, people should be on the lookout for smash and grab thieves. These theives are using the stolen items to steal people’s identity. They wait for a good opportunity to steal valuables from a car, such as when someone leaves their valuables in the car while going into a building. Sometimes the thieves work in a group; while, at other times, they work alone.
When they find an opportunity, they quickly break the window of the car, steal the items, and quickly leave the scene of the crime. The victims of these crimes are frequently women.
One recent victim was a woman who was dropping her toddler off at school. When she was returning to her car, she noticed an SUV pulling out of the parking space located next to hers. The SUV was pulling out so quickly it nearly hit her and her children. Next, she noticed that her window was broken and her purse was missing.
After the thief fled the scene, they tried to cash an illegal check at the drive-through of a nearby bank. The thieves use the information they find by finding one of their associates that resembles the picture on the stolen driver’s license.
They will then go to a bank and try to get money from the stolen credit cards or checks by using the outer lane of the drive-through while sometimes wearing sunglasses so the bank cannot clearly see the person. The thieves use a stolen driver’s license or other ID to withdraw approximately $1,000 from the bank, hoping not to make the bank teller suspicious. The thieves continue to go to different banks, repeating this process until someone becomes suspicious and asks them to come into the bank to verify their identity. They will then leave the bank, but security cameras have been unable to identify them because they either hide or alter their license plate.
This type of theft can occur anywhere, and the best way to avoid having this happen is to make sure not to leave any valuables in the car. People are often concerned with identity theft on the Internet, but there are many other ways these theives can steal your identity. So, it is always best to be careful with any source of personal information.
In addition to calling the police, if a stolen item contains any sensitive personal information, you should contact your bank as well as issue a credit freeze. Also, you might want to consider running a background check on yourself to make sure that no one has used your identity for criminal purposes.