Daryl A. Landry, 41, said he thinks Darryl M. Landry, 39, has been using his identity for nearly a decade - and building a significant criminal record.
After nine years of fighting arrest warrants, angry phone calls and police searches, Daryl A. Landry thinks an end may be in sight.
Kingston police arrested Darryl M. Landry on identity theft charges on March 6.
But the criminal record he allegedly created using Daryl A. Landry's Social Security number and date of birth could stay with his victim forever.
In 1998, Daryl A. Landry of Barrington went to the Division of Motor Vehicles to renew his license. When he finally got to the front of a very long line, the clerk told him there was a warrant out for his arrest for assault on a state trooper.
It got worse.
Whoever had assaulted the police officer and used his name also was abducting children and allowing them to call home and give his name.
Then came the angry calls from parents and a police search of his home.
For nearly 10 years, Daryl A. Landry has been in and out of court for warrants served for Darryl M. Landry of Watertown, Mass. He said each time a judge recognized the crime was committed by a different person, officials said they would go after the suspect.
But they never did.
Unlike victims of credit identity theft, who usually can straighten out their financial history in two to four years, victims of criminal identity theft may live with a criminal record for the rest of their lives.
Using someone else's identity when building a criminal record is too tempting for some people to pass up, according to Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit organization in San Diego.
"I certainly wouldn't say this type of identity theft is uncommon," she said. "I think any criminal would love to find someone to impersonate so they can get off the hook. I'm surprised that we don't hear of more such cases."
That's just the reason Daryl A. Landry said he thinks Darryl M. Landry stole his identity. The suspect is a registered sex offender in Massachusetts, he said.
It all came to an end on March 6, when Kingston police arrested Darryl M. Landry and charged him with identity fraud, being a habitual offender, disobeying a police officer and driving while intoxicated, subsequent offense. He was arraigned on March 7 and is being held at Rockingham County Jail on $50,000 cash bail.
At the end of February, Daryl A. Landry received a letter from the state Division of Motor Vehicles, saying his license had been suspended because of a driving while intoxicated charge in Kingston.
When Daryl A. Landry received the letter, he called the DMV to file for identity fraud - again. He's been stuck playing this game for nine years.
Lauren Noether, chief of the state Department of Justice's Consumer Protection and Anti-Trust Bureau, said she saw similar cases when she was Belknap County attorney.
People with suspended licenses would tell the police officer who stopped them that they didn't have their license with them. And then, they would give the police a false name, according to Noether.
The person whose named was used would then get a similar letter to the one Daryl A. Landry received, saying their license had been revoked for a motor vehicle offense.
She also recalled one more-significant case of criminal identity theft, in which a fugitive was hiding with a stolen identity in another state.
But most New Hampshire law enforcement officials said they have never seen a case like the one Daryl A. Landry has been living.
"It's mainly running up a credit bill under a false name to get products they want," said Sgt. Rich Mitchell of the state police Troop A barracks. "We've had a few (identity theft cases), but none to hide as a sexual offender."
Daryl A. Landry found Darryl M. Landry through his own research. With the help of family and some friends who are state troopers, he said he has documentation of the suspect taking his identity as early as 1995.
Daryl A. Landry said he believes Darryl M. Landry, who was born and raised in Somersworth, got his personal information through the Somersworth police station. The first instances of identity theft are dated just six months after the only time Daryl A. Landry was ever arrested - in Somersworth in 1994 - he said.
But he said he isn't accusing the department until after he gets a chance to ask Darryl M. Landry himself in court, which could take up to two years.
Somersworth police Chief Dean Crombie did not return repeated phone calls.
Legislation pending in the state Senate now would make it possible for Daryl A. Landry to clear his record, said Rep. Neal Kurk, R-Weare. A bill that just passed through the House would allow victims to file a private action lawsuit for damages and use the judgment to correct their public and private records.
Because Darryl M. Landry allegedly used a driver's license linked to all of the victim's information - with the exception of his address - the law would help Daryl A. Landry, according to Kurk.
"The fact that the innocent individual is involved, or accused of being involved, in criminal activity would not stop him from getting $5,000 or three times the actual damages, plus attorney's fees, whichever is greater," Kurk said. "The judge would also have an order issued to have his records corrected."
Daryl A. Landry said he has no idea exactly how much the whole ordeal has cost him.
r Shred documents with financial or personal information before discarding.
r Protect your Social Security number. Do not carry your card or give out your number, unless absolutely necessary.
r Don't give out personal information over the phone or computer. If asked for information, recontact the agency yourself to be sure it was legitimate before giving out information.
r Keep your information in a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates or employ outside help.
r Monitor bank statements, credit card statements and credit reports.
Source: Federal Trade Commission