Police hunt for suspected ID thieves

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HOUSTON - Houston police are searching for two women suspected of using stolen personal information to create hundreds of fake identities.

Police said they suspect Dralanjala Johnson and Zatovia Broussard have created at least 200 different identities from stolen personal information.

"I don't know how they got it, I really don't know," said Sandra Latigo. "I never had my wallet or checkbook stolen."

Latigo, a single mother, said the first sign of trouble was a phone call from a credit union informing her she was past due on a car payment for a Chevy Camaro she never purchased.

"That's got to scare you," said Local 2 Investigator Robert Arnold.
 "It did," said Latigo. "I was like, 'what?'"

Court records show Johnson and Broussard are accused of purchasing three cars with Latigo's identity. Latigo also provided Local 2 with several documents showing how her identity was used to rent apartments, set-up electric and cable accounts and car insurance.

"They love my name," said Latigo.

Latigo said she also recently received a letter in the mail stating she owed a fine for running a red light in Humble. The car linked to running that red light was one of the vehicles police said was illegally purchased with Latigo's identity.

"So I have to go fix that too," Latigo. "They did a lot of damage and it's taking me forever to fix all this damage."

Johnson and Broussard are accused of also buying a fourth car with another person's identity. However, police told Local 2 that Latigo is far from the only victim. Police said when they tracked down one of the stolen cars they found a mountain of evidence inside.

Among the items found in the car were copies of numerous individuals' driver licenses, social security numbers, phony employment histories, stolen checks and copies of checks from the Harris County Housing Authority. Police said they suspect some of these identities are now being passed to friends of the pair and used to rent apartments and set-up utility accounts.

Police said during their investigation they discovered Broussard was claiming an abandoned leasing office as her home address.

When Local 2 visited that address we discovered dozens of files containing renters' personal information had been left behind.

The files were in numerous piles strewn throughout the building. Some of the confidential information found in the abandoned office came from the Houston Housing Authority. The windows to the building were broken, the front door was unlocked, inside walls had been spray-painted and there was a small amount of blood on the floor.

Police suspect some of the stolen personal information came from this address. However, police believe Broussard and Johnson are obtaining the information from other sources as well.

Local 2 is still working through conflicting records to determine who exactly is responsible for the care of that building. However, Local 2 informed both the City of Houston and the Houston Housing Authority about this building. Both are now looking into the matter.

Police charged a third person as part of this investigation, Eleanor Williams, 51. Williams has been arrested, but Broussard and Johnson are still on the run. Both women have prior criminal records, according to Harris County court records.

Police ask that if anyone knows the whereabouts of Johnson and Broussard to please call Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS.

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