Tuesday, January 29 2013 5:09 PM EST2013-01-29 22:09:53 GMT
A man arrested following an Eyewitness News investigation faces sentencing Tuesday. Marcos Lopez was convicted of identity theft after stealing a baby's Social Security number and using it for more thanMore >>
Marcos Lopez was convicted of identity theft after stealing a baby's Social Security number and using it for more than a decade. He'll spend one year behind bars for his crime. See resources to help you protect your child's identity.More >>
Sunday, May 26 2013 12:24 AM EDT2013-05-26 04:24:07 GMT
A dedicated race fan who's been attending the Indy 500 for decades received the ride of a lifetime at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His friends surprised him with a ride in a two-seater with Mario AndrettiMore >>
A dedicated race fan who's been attending the Indy 500 for decades received the ride of a lifetime at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 10:49 PM EDT2013-05-26 02:49:43 GMT
Scattered showers make for a less than ideal Indianapolis 500 forecast. Confidence is high on rain to be on Live Doppler 13 Radar during the race… but there is a great deal of uncertainty on whether showersMore >>
Confidence is high on rain to be on Live Doppler 13 Radar during the race, but there is a great deal of uncertainty on whether showers will move over the track.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 8:48 PM EDT2013-05-26 00:48:38 GMT
Kyle Busch dominated at Charlotte Motor Speedway again Saturday, racing to his sixth Nationwide Series victory of the season and record seventh career win at the track. Ten years and a day after his NationwideMore >>
Kyle Busch dominated at Charlotte Motor Speedway again Saturday, racing to his sixth Nationwide Series victory of the season and record seventh career win at the track.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 8:40 PM EDT2013-05-26 00:40:27 GMT
About 35 runners from the Midwest who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon last month because of the bombings will run about a half mile on the track immediately before the start of the IndianapolisMore >>
About 35 runners from the Midwest who were unable to finish the Boston Marathon last month because of the bombings will run about a half mile on the track immediately before the start of the Indianapolis 500.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:09 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:09:39 GMT
A 22-year-old sprint car driver died has died after a crash at the Bloomington Speedway. Monroe County Coroner Nicole Meyer told The Herald-Times that 22-year-old Joshua Burton of Bloomington died atMore >>
A 22-year-old sprint car driver died has died after a crash at the Bloomington Speedway.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:05:14 GMT
An Indiana man is dead after the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a car near the National Mall in Washington. D.C. police say the collision occurred late Friday night at the intersection of 23rdMore >>
An Indiana man is dead after the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a car near the National Mall in Washington.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 7:02 PM EDT2013-05-25 23:02:27 GMT
The National Park Service is reminding people who plan to head to the shores of Lake Michigan as the summer season begins that water conditions can change quickly from calm and inviting to rough and dangerousMore >>
National Park Service is reminding people who plan to head to the shores of Lake Michigan as the summer season begins that water conditions can change quickly.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 6:58 PM EDT2013-05-25 22:58:35 GMT
The Evansville police chief is recommending an officer accused of battery against a student while working off-duty at a school be either suspended or fired. The Evansville Courier & Press reports ChiefMore >>
The Evansville police chief is recommending an officer accused of battery against a student while working off-duty at a school be either suspended or fired.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 6:46 PM EDT2013-05-25 22:46:57 GMT
A former central Indiana coroner who pleaded guilty to driving drunk is suing a former prosecutor from an adjoining county, alleging he provided incompetent counsel that kept her from running for re-election. TheMore >>
A former central Indiana coroner who pleaded guilty to driving drunk is suing a former prosecutor from an adjoining county.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 6:41 PM EDT2013-05-25 22:41:11 GMT
The force is with the Indiana State Museum. The Indianapolis Star reports an exhibition called "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" opened at the museum this weekend. The exhibit lets visitorsMore >>
The force is with the Indiana State Museum.More >>
The man at the center of an Eyewitness News investigation is now behind bars. Marcos Lopez is charged with identity theft for allegedly stealing a baby's Social Security number and using it for more than a decade.
An Indianapolis teenager says, "I can finally feel like myself," after police arrested a man accused of stealing his identity more than a decade ago.
The investigation exposed how Lopez allegedly stole the Social Security number of Adam Brackin just days after he was born, and used the boy's personal information for more than a decade to get jobs, rent homes and apartments and run up thousands of dollars in unpaid bills.
13 Investigates has been trying to track down Lopez for months, but his address and employment information changed frequently and quickly, making it difficult to find him.
That changed last week, when Eyewitness News and IMPD received a tip that Lopez was working at Chumley's Bar and Grill in Broad Ripple – a job he got by fraudulently using Brackin's stolen Social Security number, according to detectives.
A half dozen plain-clothed officers in unmarked vehicles arrived at Chumley's late Thursday afternoon to discuss their plan. They entered the back door of the restaurant and, a few minute later, led Lopez out in handcuffs.
As detectives served a warrant to inspect his north side apartment and his car parked behind the restaurant, Lopez was driven downtown in the backseat of a police car for questioning.
IMPD Detective Sgt. Eric Eads told WTHR Lopez agreed to provide a videotaped statement, and during that statement the defendant admitted he had been using fraudulent identification for more than a decade.
"He told me he's from Mexico and moved to the United States in 1997," Eads said. "He said he had bought [Adam's] Social Security card and permanent resident ID card in Chicago in 1997, and has been using it ever since. "I asked him 'Did you know this was illegal? You shouldn't have done this?' He said 'Hey, I had to work. I had to use the Social Security number to work. I didn't have a choice. I had to make money.'"
According to IMPD, Lopez recently used a fake Social Security card with Brackin's real Social Security number to get jobs at Chumley's, Granite City Food & Brewery and Culver's restaurants on the northeast side.
Detectives also discovered Lopez used Adam's Social Security number to get more than a dozen IDs from the Indiana State Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Eads said the undocumented worker has used six different names, has five different Social Security numbers and has been arrested on four separate occasions for violations such as public intoxication, drunken driving and resisting law enforcement.
But none of the prior arrests appears to be as serious as this one.
"At this point, he's been charged with ten felonies," Eads explained. "There's four counts of C Felony forgery, four counts of identity theft and two counts of perjury."
Lopez is currently in the Marion County Jail awaiting his preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for Monday. He declined an interview request by WTHR.
"Never thought this day would arrive"
For the first time, Adam Brackin is now seeing the face of the man accused of stealing his identity.
WTHR showed Adam video of the arrest about an hour after it happened, and the 15-year-old student at Covenant Christian High School watched the video with a big smile.
"I can finally feel like myself. I can finally feel like I'm Adam again," he said. "I was worried how this would affect my future."
His mother is relieved.
"It's been a total worry on me day after day after day. He's 15 now. That's just a few short years before he turns 18 and I want my son to have the same opportunities as I had and everybody else has – not for somebody to ruin it for him," said Angie Holtgrave. "I really never thought this day would arrive."
IMPD has offered to assist Adam as he applies for a new Social Security number, a process that should help the teenager clean up a very poor credit history left in the wake of his stolen Social Security number.
Law enforcement says child identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation. An estimated 140,000 identity frauds are committed against minors each year, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Because most people don't begin monitoring their credit until they are adults, a child's stolen social security number may not be detected for years – even decades – causing tremendous damage by the time it is caught.
How to protect your kids
That's why you should take action now.
The Federal Trade Commission recommends you contact a credit bureau to see if your child has a credit file – a primary warning sign of child identity theft.
"For a child, there should be no credit file because, as a minor, you can't apply for credit," explained Steve Katz, senior director of consumer affairs at TransUnion credit bureau. "So if these [credit] accounts exist, they've most likely been established by a third party whose using that child's information, and they shouldn't be."
The nation's three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian. and TransUnion – all offer what's called a "minor credit file check" for you to investigate the status of your child's credit. The credit bureaus will conduct a file check for free. (Details and instructions below.)
"It's a very easy process. You simply go to our website … there's a secure form you can fill out and send to us. We'll respond to you very quickly if we find a credit file in your child's name and we'll provide you with the next steps," Katz told WTHR earlier this year. "We have the ability to go in there and clean up that file so, in the future, any negative items will not impact the child."
TransUnion says its minor credit file checks reveal credit files on approximately 4% of children. With approximately 75 million children (ages 0-17) in the United States, that percentage represents approximately 1.5 million kids who may have improper credit activity – and possible identity theft – linked to their Social Security numbers. The FTC says it is important to identify potential problems early.
"Before a child reaches the age of 16, parents definitely should see if there is a credit file on their children," said FTC identity protection specialist Steve Toporoff. "That will give some time to remedy problems and to clean up the child's credit file so, by the time they reach 18, they will have a clean credit history going forward."
Saturday, May 25 2013 5:53 AM EDT2013-05-25 09:53:25 GMT
An Elwood High School baseball coach is under investigation for touching one of his players. The Anderson Herald Bulletin reports that Elwood Police Chief Sam Hanna confirmed that Charles "Chuck" Everson,More >>
An Elwood High School baseball coach is under investigation for touching one of his players. More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:19 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:19:14 GMT
Police are seeking criminal charges against two missing campers who were found on the Indiana National Guard's Camp Atterbury. Bartholomew County sheriff's Maj. Todd Noblitt says the two men, ages 19More >>
Bartholomew County sheriff's Maj. Todd Noblitt says the two men, ages 19 and 20, were found Wednesday after a ground and air search for several hours by police officers and soldiers of the Atterbury grounds near Edinburgh.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 11:10 AM EDT2013-05-25 15:10:36 GMT
The new state budget that increases funding for schools the next two years won't benefit every Indiana school district. Terry Spradlin of Indiana University's Center for Evaluation and Education PolicyMore >>
The new state budget that increases funding for schools the next two years won't benefit every Indiana school district.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:04 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:04:40 GMT
Two people are in custody after an incident where an IMPD officer fired his duty weapon. Police say officers were investigating an incident in the 3200 block of Boulevard Place when a suspect failed toMore >>
Two people are in custody after an incident where an IMPD officer fired his duty weapon.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 7:55 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:55:55 GMT
A Greenfield police officer is fighting to keep his vanity license plate. Rodney Vawter has owned the personalized Fraternal Order of Police license plate "0INK" for the past three years. A class actionMore >>
A Greenfield police officer is fighting to keep his vanity license plate after it was revoked by the BMV.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:56 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:56:19 GMT
A female pedestrian is in the hospital after being struck by a vehicle on the northeast side of Indianapolis. The woman was hit on E. 34th Street, between Gladstone and Colorado, around 9:45 p.m. Friday.More >>
A female pedestrian is in the hospital after being struck by a vehicle on the northeast side of Indianapolis.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 1:44 PM EDT2013-05-25 17:44:05 GMT
An anthropologist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is drawing interest from media worldwide for his expedition in July to Australia to study how some 1,000-year-old coins ended up onMore >>
An anthropologist at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is drawing interest from media worldwide for his expedition in July to Australia to study how some 1,000-year-old coins ended up on a remote beach there.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:45 PM EDT2013-05-25 16:45:20 GMT
Floats and bands are beginning to line the streets Saturday morning for the 2013 IPL 500 Festival Parade. Eight of the 12 floats scheduled to appear in the parade were judged Thursday evening. The 2013More >>
More than 300,000 spectators are expected to line the two-mile parade route to see the 33 starting drivers of the 2013 Indianapolis 500®, more than 80 specialty units, floats, marching bands and giant inflatable balloons.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 2:42 PM EDT2013-05-25 18:42:48 GMT
Authorities say three men from eastern Indiana were killed in a head-on crash along a northern Indiana highway. The LaGrange County Sheriff's Department says 21-year-old Dwayne Davis of Parker City, 19-year-oldMore >>
Authorities say three men from eastern Indiana were killed in a head-on crash along a northern Indiana highway.More >>