Authorities Looking for Suspects in Identity Theft Case


The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office is looking for leads in an identity theft case.

Surveillance video released by the sheriff’s office showed the persons of interests. Although they haven’t been identified, one local attorney said the investigation is already proving to be more successful than most.

A man, woman and a teen are suspected of shopping with someone else’s money. “The investigation started in mid-November when our victim came forward, because he started receiving multiple letters demanding payment for accounts he did not open,” Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Deputy Celina Flores said.

Flores said someone stole the victim’s personal information and opened up cell phone lines and credit cards in his name.

Local attorney Efrain Molina said it’s seldom that authorities act quickly enough in these cases. “Most stores usually keep that surveillance video for, at most, two weeks. So the sheriff’s doing an investigation so quickly is extremely rare,” he said.

Molina said it’s also rare for an identity theft victim and suspect to live in the same area. “It becomes a bureaucratic nightmare, between the police agencies working together. So it takes a lot of effort and a lot of resources,” he said.

The sheriff’s office and Molina said people should file a report no matter where their stolen identity was used. “What that does is it protects them from the claims of the creditor saying you’ve got credit with us, you owe us money,” he said. “They can always refute that claim using the police report.”

It’s unclear how the suspects stole the information. Molina said for many of his clients, the information is stolen from inside vehicles.

“Something like that on the black market can be more valuable than, sometimes, the car itself,” Molina said.

The best way for someone to protect themselves is to keep personal information close and check their credit report multiple times a year.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers at (956) 668-8477. 

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