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Change-of-address form leads to identity theft charge



Published: Thu, January 27, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



NESHANNOCK, Pa. -- A 42-year-old New Castle man faces identity theft charges as the result of a six-month police probe that began with a change-of-address card.

James A. Minteer faces allegations of theft by deception, receiving stolen property, forgery, access device fraud and two counts of identity theft, Neshannock Township police said Tuesday.

A township couple wasn't getting any mail so they went to the post office to find out why.

Postal authorities said they had a change-of-address card routing the mail to what they later discovered was a vacant New Castle house, police said.

After the victims noticed the change of address and corrected it to their residence, credit card statements for accounts the victims didn't set up started arriving in the mail, and the victims notified township police Aug. 2.

Investigators tracked the credit cards to Internet applications and followed the trail to a computer in New Castle.

Detectives obtained a search warrant for Minteer's home, and forensic examination of his computer led to the charges.

Police arrested Minteer on Thursday at Neshannock Township's Lawrence Village Plaza, police said.

The probe is continuing, police said, and they may file more charges.




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