Success Story: Woman Captures Her Own Identity Thief

Readers alerted us to a great story in today’s San Francisco Chronicle. A woman who lost $30,000 in business and six months of her life to a local identity thief captured her tormentor… on foot.

Karen Lodrick’s mail had been stolen in November 2006 by a neighborhood con named Maria Nelson. Nelson subsequently withdrew thousands of dollars from Lodrick’s bank accounts. Even after Lodrick created another bank account, the thief again stole her mail and raided the new account.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Having seen a Wells Fargo surveillance video of the thief carrying a “light-brown suede coat,” Lodrick recognized the coat and the woman standing behind her in line at a Starbuck’s. After dialing 911, Lodrick followed Nelson through the San Francisco streets, eventually having to run after her when Nelson realized something was up. The chase included Lodrick practically blocking Nelson’s cab from driving off– the driver threw up his hands in surrender and Nelson fled again, knowing that whatever was happening, her probation was definitely in jeopardy.

The only letdown in this story is, of course, when the justice system gets involved. Despite chastising the convict, who was indeed on probation, for rudeness toward the victim in court, the judge sentenced Nelson only to time served and another three years of probation. Lodrick, needless to say, is pretty pissed. —BRIAN FAIRBANKS

How victim snared identity thief [SF Gate]