A nearly two-year investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies that started in Westport following several cases of stolen identity has led to the arrest of a man who has been making fraudulent purchases with multiple identities throughout the tri-state area.
The Westport Police Department received a report from a local resident on June 24, 2016, claiming that his identity had been stolen after he received a Home Depot credit card in the mail, which he had never applied to. The account related to the card was later used in Norwalk, Conn. to make fraudulent purchases.
On Jan. 17 last year, police said that the same suspect entered a Verizon Wireless Zone in Westport and purchased $2,675 worth of phones and mobile hotspots. Store employees later learned that the suspect used the identity of a Berlin, Conn. man to make the fraudulent purchases and law enforcement officials were notified. Police said that investigators found that a number of other departments were attempting to identify the same suspect for similar crimes, and a coordinated effort was launched.
According to police, the suspect was identified as Franklin Lakes, N.J., resident William Brawer, who was tracked down and arrested. He was extradited from Pennsylvania to Watertown, Conn., on Feb. 19.
Brawer was arrested by a Westport detective at Norwalk Court over the weekend and charged with two counts of third-degree identity theft, as well as larceny, forgery and criminal impersonation. He remains remanded in custody in lieu of $20,000 bond. Brawer is due back in court later this year to answer the charges.
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