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Identity thief reaches plea

Posted: Friday, Feb 22nd, 2013




Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — If Thomas Steven Harris has a nickname, it probably isn’t Brent or Sean.

An Ace Hardware store cashier figured that out pretty quickly on Dec. 15, when the 36-year-old Harris tried to pass himself off as the real Brent — and the real Sean.

The inconsistency between the two names jumped out at the cashier, who was in the process of ringing up a bill for nearly $1,069.

Harris first presented her with a check that belonged to a man named Brent, but when she asked for his identification, the woman reported that he reluctantly gave her another man’s license.

He regained his confidence as he marched out of the store with the items he “purchased.” But he didn’t get very far before a store manager caught up with him and recovered the goods, according to a police report.

Someone from the store immediately reported the incident, and an Alamosa Police officer who responded to the call found Harris sitting in the passenger seat of a red car.

Harris was promptly arrested on multiple theft-related charges, and authorities recovered checks that had been filched from residents of Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Turlock, Calif. They also found identification and a Student Advantage card that belonged to someone other than Harris.

On Jan. 17, Harris posted bond and was released from jail. At the time, he assured officials that he would follow the conditions attached to his bond.

But he allegedly committed multiple infractions once he was released on a tracking program, according to a pre-trial complaint and probation officer’s report. Authorities briefly lost track of him altogether when he allegedly severed his ankle monitor and discarded it on Main Street.

He was eventually captured, though, and on Feb. 12, he pleaded guilty to attempted theft and criminal possession of a financial device.

In exchange, the district attorney’s office agreed to dismiss felony charges of theft, identity theft and criminal impersonation, along with misdemeanor counts of second-degree possession of a forged instrument and second-degree forgery.

In light of his plea, 12th Judicial District Judge Michael Gonzales also reduced Harris’ bond from $100,000 to $20,000 cash or surety.

Judge Gonzales is scheduled to sentence Harris on the remaining charges in April.

The two Class 5 felonies each carry presumptive sentences of one to three years in state prison, and up to six years each under extraordinary circumstances.












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