DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — A semi-automatic AR pistol, almost $5,000 in cash and thousands of dollars in merchandise, all purchased, according to Daphne police, using stolen identities. “It’s pretty uncommon for us to catch them in the act, so to speak, and get them with this amount of stolen identities and merchandise and cash to boot,” says Daphne Police Sgt. Jason Vannoy.
21-year-old Jairice Shelton is now in custody and charged with trafficking in stolen identities after a week-long investigation that started with the report of a stabbing at the Hampton Inn. When officers arrived they didn’t find anyone stabbed but they did find some suspicious documents. That led them to call other local hotels. “Notified other hotels of the name that was used to check-in that room and we found out at the Hilton Garden Inn there were currently two guys staying there that were checked in under that name.”
Inside that hotel room, dozens of items recovered including driver’s license, debit cards, a magnetic strip scanner, three firearms and merchandise including a thousand dollar pair of Gucci sneakers.
Police say identity theft is becoming increasingly common and the best defense is to frequently check accounts and sign up for identity theft alerts from credit card companies and your bank.
“Completely innocent victims in this and a lot of them don’t even know they are victims,” says Vannoy.
Shelton is currently being held in the Baldwin County Jail. The search continues for others involved in the identity thefts.