Identity theft is when someone poses as you to commit a crime. According to police, it happens several times *a day in Eugene. Victims may not know of the offense until major damage has already been done.
Stealing another person's identity is a serious crime. And, when caught, perpetrators can expect to see the inside of a jail cell. This week, (Tuesday 2/18) a 35-year old Eugene man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for breaking into vehicles and rummaging through trash to find personal information.
Melinda McLaughlin is with the EPD. She says anyone can prevent identity theft.
McLaughlin: "So what you're looking for when you go shopping or you're going through your mail and you have information if you have bank accounts that you're paying--it's a good idea to shred a lot of things. And after you shred you can of course, recycle."
If you believe you're a victim of identity theft, contact your bank and call the non-emergency police line to report.