Identity theft is a huge problem in the United States, and a case uncovered this week in Wichita proves just how easy it is for people to be taken advantage of.
Wichita Police have arrested a man and a woman after the man walked into a patrol substation and reported that he was an undercover agent who had assumed the identity of someone else.
Sergeant Bruce Watts says the man explained where he was living, so officers later went to the home in the 600 block of South Bluff to check it out. They discovered a very strange situation.
The same man who reported the incident the day before answered the door when the officers knocked. They realized he was living there with his wife. Neither were supposed to be there.
"These people had broken into this house," says Sergeant Bruce Watts. "They assumed the owner's identity, got credit cards, hooked up satellite TV, phone service, ordered new flat screen TVs, new laptops, even changed the locks and put up a new mailbox."
Watts says the man who owns the house has been gone for several months taking care of his sick mother in another town.
Meanwhile, neighbors on the street just thought someone new had moved in.
"These people had invited the neighbors over for dinner," Watts says. "They thought they were new homeowners or new renters and said that they were pleasant people."
Watts says officers are still trying to figure out why the man reported himself. The owner of the house, who had no idea that this was happening, has now been contacted.
"We've even brought in the Secret Service," explains Watts. "Because these people took out a second mortgage in this gentleman's name."
Police say, if you have plans to be away from your house for long periods of time, get somebody to check up on it every day. Citizens can even call the police department and have an extra watch alert placed on their home if they plan to be away for a while.