Man charged with identity theft after visiting mobile phone store

A Brooklyn, NY man faces nearly a decade in prison for identity theft and more after he allegedly tried to swap the SIM card of a stolen cell phone from a local cell phone store.

Keene Charles, 33, was charged in Racine County Circuit Court with one count of identity theft, two counts of obstruction and one count of theft . If convicted, he faces nearly eight years in prison and/or up to $40,000 in fines.

Police arrested for identity theft

According to the criminal complaint, Charles went to the Verizon store on Durand Avenue in Mount Pleasant on Thursday to have a cell phone SIM card replaced. He presented ID with another person’s name and had knowledge of the person’s account, so the employees completed the transaction. The person who actually owned the phone reported their account for fraud, which caused the new SIM card to stop working. When Charles returned to the store because the new SIM card was no longer operational, employees called the police for possible identity theft.

When police approached Charles, he fled on foot but was apprehended after tripping on a sidewalk, the complaint continues. He gave them a fake name but had the phone owner’s ID on him and several cards, including a GAP credit card also in the person’s name.

Charles has been granted $1,000 cash bond and will next be in court on July 7 for his preliminary hearing.

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