Technology leads to 20 arrests for License fraud

July 3, 2008 4:56:17 PM PDT
Pennsylvania state police have identified and arrested 20 suspects for I-D fraud. Police say what gave them away was how the suspects looked. 41-year-old Mark Haigler covered up his face when he was brought out of the State Police Barracks on Belmont Avenue.

The Trenton man is accused of using that same face to obtain three separate licenses, to buy six guns.

"Three of those guns were out there in the streets. This individual obviously didn't report these guns stolen because he didn't want that back. It's a classic straw purchase of weapons," said State police captain David Young.

State Police announced the arrests of 20 people for faking identities to obtain licenses.

PennDOT's facial recognition program alerted authorities.The software is able to determine whether individuals in several photographs are actually the same person.

Look at Richard Leidy. Despite differences in weight, the program raised a red flag.

As it did with Andrea Mance, who had different hairstyles, and even wore a hood for one photo I.D.

Captain Young said if the program believes that there are multiple pictures associated with one that just came in for a renewal request, it triggers an investigation by the Pennsylvania state police.

Police say the people who are charged with forgery were doing it for a variety of reasons: to wipe their criminal history clean for a job, for immigration status, or to buy weapons that cannot be traced back to them.

Some are accused of obtaining fake Id's through false information, others by stealing people's identities.

State Police say this is a good time to remind people to protect themselves from identity theft. Don't ever dispose of personal information in the trash. Use a shredder instead so it doesn't get in the wrong hands.