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Possible Identity Theft

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  • Possible Identity Theft

    I took a report yesterday but I'm not sure what to do with it. One investigator told me just to leave it alone and let the FAA handle it, but I hate to leave things unfinished. In essence, what happened was a student in a flight school was observed making a copy of the flight instructor's passport, pilot's license, FAA medical evaluation and driver's license - all of which was located in a file at the flight school. The instructor came to the PD to have a report taken and told me that she had contacted the FAA and they needed a report number from us (PD). Is anybody here familiar with the identity theft laws or FAA regulations (especially federal - I'm already researching my state laws, but if anybody know SC law, I'd appreciate that too)? Is this something I could get a warrant for? Given the circumstances (involving pilots and flight school), I'm unwilling at this time to simply drop it, but I would like to know if there's anything there for me. Thanks in advance!
    “We don't disagree, you are wrong. Until you have a clue what you are talking about we can't disagree.” - cgh6366

  • #2
    Unsure if the student making copies of the documents alone would constitute a state or federal crime.

    When I worked, if we had a case that was questionable as to if a crime was committed we would write a " suspicious circumstances report" and let the approiate detective unit investigate further.

    In your case some type of report should be written..
    Retired LASD

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    • #3
      Yeah - not a crime, but probably still worth an 'information only' report. We wouldn't call it identity theft until credit had been applied for/granted and strange stuff started showing up on a credit report/social security work history, etc.

      Worth jotting down who/what/where though, since it's a flight school.

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      • #4
        Here it would be possession of personal identifying materials. And falls under identity theft.....................
        The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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        • #5
          I did a not-reportable report (info only) but I just feel like there should be something else I could do (maybe get used to NOT pursuing every case). I've looked through all our state laws but they all require an attempt to "do something" with the documents. I just didn't know if there was a federal provision covering something like this.

          Thanks for everyone's input!
          “We don't disagree, you are wrong. Until you have a clue what you are talking about we can't disagree.” - cgh6366

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          • #6
            If you haven't already you might refer the instructor to http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft/ This gives him information on putting a credit block on his account, etc.
            Most to those who constantly question authority don't know the real answer to their own question. They blindly and lazily question and resist because they resent authority.

            Fella 7/9/2008

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            • #7
              Was there action taken against the student for unauthorized accessing sensitive information for personal gain? If he was observed photo copying the documents, did anyone approach/stop him, and was the instructor the only credentials he accessed? This could turn out to be a whole can of worms.
              I am a Native American of non-Indian decent.

              Cleaning the pool, one gene at a time.

              I'm on a 30 day diet. So far I've lost 15 days!

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              • #8
                In general terms, a good many reports you take will go no further than the records file at your agency. I admire your professionalism, and desire to see each incident through to some conclusion. Based on your post, you did everything you could at the time. Every so often, that report you made years ago, and forgot about,comes back into play. Many cold cases are cleared in this manner. So it's possible, that this seemingly insignificant situation, which you cut a good report on,could develop into something substantial down the road.

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                • #9
                  As a Flight Instructor I find it extremely odd that the student would be copying all of these documents? They would be of no use to him as a student unless he is going to replicate them with his information?? I would track the student down and ask him why he copied them (if you are able).

                  Now if it is reverse and the instructor making photo copies of the students information this is a FAA/TSA requirement post 9/11.

                  If you have any questions reference the flying documents shoot me a message I can probably assist you.

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                  • #10
                    Another Thought

                    I see nothing within a local PD's investigative purview. However, given that this is a flight school and the information being copied could be used to impersonate or obtain duplicate licenses or documents of a pilot, I would cc a copy of my report to the local Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). Because there is the potential for a terrorist related crime, I would stay clear of the matter for fear of tipping any possible bad guys off and let JTTF deal with it.
                    Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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                    • #11
                      +1 for L1's post. I believe it is a federal offense; or, at the very least, within the purview of the Feds. I would call the local DHS or FBI office and ask if they would be interested in a copy of the information. I am certain that one, if not both, will say yes.
                      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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                      • #12
                        Upon more investigation, the student who copied the files is an older man (also very wealthy). From what I've picked up on, nothing concrete of course, it seems like it may be more of an obsessive "crush" on the female instructor. Still, I'm going to follow some of the advice given about contacting one or more federal agencies and see what they think after I explain everything. At least I'll feel better.... Thanks guys, I really do appreciate it!
                        “We don't disagree, you are wrong. Until you have a clue what you are talking about we can't disagree.” - cgh6366

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                        • #13
                          Wish I had thought of L-1's/CHP Sgt's replies. They're really good advice. I recommend you file for future reference.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                            Wish I had thought of L-1's/CHP Sgt's replies. They're really good advice. I recommend you file for future reference.
                            Thank you! I am certain that L-1 also thanks you.
                            Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                            [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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