Baytown police said a woman was caught with credit cards and drivers licenses linked to many unsuspecting victims.
Investigators said they arrested Teresa Villanueva at a Baytown Sears for shoplifting. Officers said Villanueva was caught stealing thousands of dollars worth of power tools and clothes.
While searching her purse, police said they found a pile of credit cards and drivers licenses, each belonging to someone else.
Investigators said Villanueva confessed to taking out credit cards in her victims' names and making Texas drivers licenses using her own photo and each victim's name.
"She did allude to getting this information from the internet," said Detective Luzette Watkins, "Exactly how, that's what we're still trying to investigate. Is she sophisticated enough to figure out how to get into other people's information?"
While investigators tackle these cyber crime questions, they are sending a warning to the public. They say take steps to protect yourself online and in stores, so you aren't the next to become a victim.
Officers recommended reviewing safety tips at IDTheftCenter.org.
Some tips include:
- Keep all your computer security software and operating systems updated.
- Be careful what you download from the Internet.
- Turn off your computer when not in use.
- Don't give out personal information over the Internet unless you initiated the contact.