For today’s Sunday blog post, I wanted to share some good news about an issue that has caused me some inconvenience over the past year. Thankfully, it has a happy ending (at least for now).
A year ago, I was informed that I had received a ticket for tinted windows in the state of New York. At the time, I was a little perplexed considering I had not visited New York in seven years and I had never even thought about tinting my windows. It became obvious that some scumbag had stolen my driver’s license information.
After a couple long frustrating hours on the phone with New York’s Traffic Violation Division, it became clear that I would have to fight this charge and prove that it wasn’t me. I had to submit an Affidavit In Lieu of Appearance form and provide evidence that would make you think I was on trial for murder. However, my efforts paid off and I was cleared of the violation.
I went on with my life but a few months later I got another shady letter from the state of New York. This time around I supposedly disobeyed a traffic device. I called the New York’s Traffic Violation Division to plead with them that they not make me go through the long and pointless process again. I begged them to do some type of police work to bring the criminal using my identification to justice. My effort fell on deaf ears. I was sent another Affidavit In Lieu of Appearance form and to my knowledge nothing was done to investigate the loser with my information.
Okay, let’s fast forward to this past week. I got home from work and checked the mail to find an envelope from the Pennsylvania State Police. In the back of my head I thought it probably had something to do with my stolen identity issue. I was actually expecting the worst, thinking “I” had been pulled over in a whole different state for another infraction. I was pleasantly wrong…
I opened the envelope to find correspondence from a Pennsylvania State trooper telling me that he had stopped and arrested someone who had in his possession a fraudulent identification card with my information on it. The trooper encouraged me to call him for more information. Ecstatic, I called the number as soon as I could whip my phone out. It connected me to the Pennsylvania State Police Office. I asked for the trooper who had made the arrest. The person who answered the phone told me he would not be in until 11 p.m. that night. As you can probably imagine, I called back at approximately 11:06 p.m. later that evening (I wanted to give him some time to get in the office and get settled).
When I called the second time I was immediately put into contact with the excellent law enforcement officer who had recovered the fraudulent ID with my information on it. He was kind, professional, and helpful. After exchanging pleasantries, he asked me if I had dealt with any identity theft problems before.
I told him all about the state of New York.
The trooper then gave me a huge sigh of relief when he said that my story made a lot of sense because the person he had arrested was from New York. At that moment, I felt great. To have it confirmed that the New York and Pennsylvania cases were connected brought me peace of mind. Before getting in contact with the trooper that day, I feared that perhaps multiple people in different states had my info.
I listened as the trooper told me a lot of good information. The dude he arrested was a career identity theft criminal. When they pulled him over, he had presented an identification card that didn’t have my information on it. However, because of this man’s record, they decided to search his vehicle. When they did, they found the fraudulent card with my data on it. They found fraudulent credit cards but none with my info on it (thankfully). The trooper told me I could refer him immediately to New York authorities if the state ever bothered me again. He took down my information and said he would keep me updated on the investigation and prosecution of the criminal.
I would like to thank the Pennsylvania State Police for not only taking this guy off the streets but for notifying me about everything. For a certain time period I felt pretty helpless but now I am at ease. Don’t Blink.