Eugene Man Sentenced to 15 Years after 2013 Identity Theft Spree

A 35-year-old Eugene man was sentenced to 15 years in state prison after pleading guilty to a number of identity theft charges in court Tuesday morning.

Eugene Police say Jeffery Nikkel, 35, of Eugene, is responsible for a series of identity thefts that continued from spring to fall of 2013, primarily by gathering information about victims by breaking into vehicles and/or rummaging through garbage and recycling bins. after which he used the information to open checking accounts, lines of credit, credit card accounts and create forged checks.

Jeffrey William Nikkel, 35 Photo: Lane County Jail

Jeffrey William Nikkel, 35
Photo: Lane County Jail

In the last year, Nikkel has been arrested the following dates and charges:

Apr. 12, 2013 on charges of second-degree theft and providing false information to police.

Apr. 30, 2013 for failure to appear on charges of carrying a concealed weapon, giving false information to police, criminal trespass, harassment, third-degree theft and three counts of second-degree theft.

May 18, 2013 for failure to appear on three counts of second-degree theft, charges of disorderly conduct, third-degree theft, criminal trespass, carrying a concealed weapon and false information to police.

May 23, 2013 on three counts of second-degree theft, harassment and carrying a concealed weapon.

July 27, 2013 on three counts of first-degree theft, three counts of identity theft and a charge of criminal trespass.

Aug. 14, 2013 on two counts of identity theft.

Oct. 25, 2013 on eight counts of first-degree theft, 15 counts of identity theft, two counts of possession of a forged instrument, two counts of first-degree forgery, second-degree forgery and second-degree theft.

Nikkel began serving a 2 1/2 year prison sentence at Two Rivers Correctional Institution Nov. 19, 2013 after having been convicted on four counts of first-degree theft and seven counts of identity theft, and was brought back to Lane County Jan. 30, 2014 to face 49 charges, including 21 counts of identity theft.

Police say identity theft occurs multiple times daily in Eugene and surrounding areas, and offer some prevention tips that can help you protect yourself from being a victim of identity theft:

* Guard personal information. Anytime you’re asked for information, whether in person, on paper, over the phone or via the internet, be very sure of who’s asking for it and why. See if you can substitute a password instead.
* Guard your trash. Shredders are cheap and effective. Use one on any unneeded receipts, mail or papers that have identifying information.
* Guard your mail. Only put outgoing bills in a secure mailbox or drop it at
the post office.
* Guard your wallet or purse, including at work or at the gym. We OFTEN get reports of ID theft occurring when individuals leave purses at tables in restaurants or bars while they are dancing or using the restroom.
* Don’t carry social security or personal identity numbers (PINs) on you.
* Review your credit card statements each month. Look for unexplained
charges, missing statements, or bills from cards you didn’t open.
* Check your credit history annually with all three credit reporting bureaus.
* Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently;
* Report it to your local police;
* Report it to the FTC.

If you believe you are the victim of identity theft:

Inform all three credit reporting bureaus, both by phone and certified mail
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285;; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742);; P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289;; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

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