EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 21, 2007

Alleged ID theft victim has been battling problems for nearly a decade

KINGSTON - Daryl A. Landry and Darryl M. Landry are two different people with the same criminal record.

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.

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