Posted: 4:47 pm Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

ID thieves buy, sell ‘street’ guns 

By George Mathis

Stolen credit card information was used  to illegally buy and sell guns, police in Birmingham said. (Image from al.com article)

Stolen credit card information was used to illegally buy and sell guns, police in Birmingham said. (Image from al.com article)

Identity theft seems to be unstoppable.

In 2012, it cost Americans about $25 billion, almost twice as much as all other thefts (car theft, burglary, robbery) combined.

USA Today says “most local law enforcement lacks the expertise to investigate smaller crimes and the FBI is only interested in massive cases involving hundreds of victims or more.”

“Police don’t want to be bothered,” says one expert. “It’s a difficult crime to investigate, and the feeling is, ‘Oh, we’re never going to catch these guys.’ “

The FBI is supposed to investigate ID theft, but the biggest victim of such chicanery is the federal government.

The Boston Globe reports the IRS is “overwhelmed” and could pay out $25 billion to ID thieves in the next 5 years.

One ID thief filed more than 5,000 fraudulent tax returns for a refund of $26.8 million, the Globe reported.

ID theft is so lucrative, at least one police chief says street crime is down because the smart criminals are stealing credit card numbers instead of iPhones.

But in Alabama, ID thieves purchased guns and sold them to street criminals, which likely led to increased local crime.

Al.com tells us several members of a gang arrested on ID theft charges in Birmingham were using stolen credit cards to buy guns off the internet.

“The guns were then shipped to Birmingham, where the suspects took possession of them and then distributed them on the streets,” reports al.com.

Police say “most” of those guns were recovered, but it’s likely those guns that weren’t recovered aren’t in the hands of people with carry permits.

I used to think guns used in robberies were all stolen during burglaries. Now I wonder how many criminals buy their guns from their more sophisticated criminal brethren and what it will take to stop that.

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5 comments
coj
coj

I guess the police have decided to stop adapting to the type of crimes that are most lucrative to criminals. If crime is rising in identity thefts, then beef up a department that is dedicated to combating that type of crime. What is lacking is the will of those in charge to adapt to the crimes that criminals that are committing. They are committing ID thefts because police are ill-equipped in computer expertise and investigative skills.

CanBee
CanBee

What is the old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words"!

The problem IS NOT more police, FBI, law enforcement ..... Problem is the Judicial and Confinement System .....These thugs are back on the street before the paperwork is complete. Truth in Sentencing is a HUGE JOKE (200 year sentence means likely release from Resort Hotel in 12 months). Prisons (better know as Resort Hotels) are also a HUGE JOKE!

72GDawg
72GDawg

"... and the feeling is, ‘Oh, we’re never going to catch these guys.’ “

The ID thieves aren't stupid, long as they know that's the prevailing attitude they will run wild.

That same mindset was on display on CNBC today when some idiot woman they were interviewing said rampant illegal insider stock trading shouldn't be investigated because it's too hard to enforce.

DontTread
DontTread

It's already illegal to be a straw buyer, and certainly illegal to be a straw buyer with a stolen credit card.


The problem is sentencing...we don't have enough of the permanent variety and so-called 'rehabilitated' criminals get out of jail and commit more crimes.