Hundreds of Car Buyers Potential Victims of Identity Theft

November 6, 2008 - Investigators in the Houston Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit are seeking potential victims of identity theft following the arrest of two suspects charged with being in possession of the personal identifying information of hundreds of unsuspecting car buyers in the Houston area.

Manuel Pierce SouzaRay Woodrow WhitmerManuel Pierce Souza (H/m, DOB: 3-6-86) and Ray Woodrow Whitmer (w/m, DOB: 6-20-87) are charged with fraudulent use and possession of identifying information in the 232nd State District Court. Both are currently in custody and are also facing narcotics charges.

Following an investigation by the HPD Narcotics Division at 5002 Willowbend, investigators of the HPD Financial Crimes Unit were notified of the discovery of 16 boxes of sales contracts for automobile purchases from the Lawrence Marshall auto dealership, formerly at 6611 Lakes of 610 Drive. The transactions appear to have taken place in 2006. At this time, investigators have not determined how the suspects obtained possession of the sales contracts.

Investigators have notified numerous potential victims. However, it is believed there could be many more.

Anyone having bought a vehicle from the Lawrence Marshall auto dealership at the Lakes of 610 Drive location in 2006 is urged to immediately obtain a copy of his or her credit report and call police at 713-884-3131 to report any fraudulent activity. Other questions may be directed to the HPD Financial Crimes Unit at 713-308-2500.

Inc. #160619108

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.

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