Common Scenarios Related To Theft Charges In Alabama

Interviewer: What is the most common scenario as far as theft goes, that you see most often?

Zach Peagler: A real popular crime that seems like it’s especially – that the D.A’s office is really keen on prosecuting is the theft of copper, and I would say most of that is drug-related. A lot of businesses keep copper wiring in scrap yards, and apparently it has a very significant value on the black market. So people will go to great lengths to try to steal copper from various businesses or out of construction sites. And then they sell it, presumably to other contractors, construction people, and they use the money for drugs. That’s probably one of the most common types of theft that we deal with.

Theft By Deception is Garnering Access to Someone’s Property By Using
False Pretenses

Interviewer: What does theft by deception refer to typically?

Zach Peagler: Theft by deception would be typically – you know somebody garnering access to someone else’s property by false pretenses. So making someone believe that there was some legitimate reason to transfer money into a bank account or selling them some type of goods or service that didn’t exist – that type of thing.

Fraudulent Use of Credit Cards and Identity Theft are Similar Charges to
Theft by Deception

Interviewer: So it’s on the line of like fraud or fraudulent services?

Zach Peagler: Yeah, it is along the same lines. We get a lot of cases with fraudulent use of a credit card, or trafficking in stolen identities is a newer crime that I’m dealing with in a couple of instances now – those have to do with someone attempting to use somebody’s credit card that doesn’t have their name on it. Or the trafficking in stolen identities is any time someone has five or more credit cards or other forms of identification of people that are not themselves that they’re found with; they can be charged with trafficking in stolen identities.

High Level Identity Theft Is Typically Not Drug Related

Interviewer: Is Identity Theft something you’re seeing more and more of these days? Is there a typical sort of individual that would usually be stealing or committing these kind of acts due to drugs, or is it a different kind of individual?

Zach Peagler: The high level identity theft individual is typically not a drug related issue. That has to do more with – I hate to say it, but kind of just more of a criminal mind. I mean those people are typically more business minded than they are doing something out of necessity or desperation – which is the drug addict act, from a point of desperation. But the master mind type identity thieves; they’re really making money off of this; or using someone else’s identity or credit cards to take vacations and take trips, and buy things of value. So they’re typically more diabolical – the ones that are guilty of it. Now they’ve started to use different vehicles to prosecute some lower level criminals with things that sound like they’re more high level. For example trafficking in stolen identities now – that’s become a pretty popular charge, and a lot of times it’s low level thieves that, on their best day would never get away with anything that would provide any value to them.

Individuals Resorting to Identity Theft are Generally Technologically Adept

Interviewer: I guess lot of these individuals are actually pretty tech savvy –

Zach Peagler: Yeah the ones who are really into the identity theft and are actually getting things of value – they’re more tech savvy than I would ever pretend to be.

The Demographic for Identity Theft is Usually Individuals between Late 20’s
to Mid 30’s

Interviewer: Have you ever seen cases where there was probably somebody younger doing this – you know was just really experimenting, thought they could possibly get away with it and it really wasn’t a big amount of money, but it was probably that they thought – just because of the thrill of it in doing it, because they’re young and making stupid decisions. Have you ever seen anything like that?

Zach Peagler: Yeah I’ve had a couple of cases with people may be working in retail environment, high school age, that come across access to a credit card number and try to do something stupid with it on a – really a one-time basis. And they don’t typically get away with it. But you know I haven’t had anything really high level identity theft cases that involved a really young individual. But – I mean I would say the demographics of those type cases is a younger demographic; you know, late twenties to mid-thirties, just because that’s the most tech savvy group out there. And I’m sure it’s going to get younger and younger as time goes on.

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