Lower Mainland man sentenced to prison for Vernon identify theft crime spree - InfoNews

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Lower Mainland man sentenced to prison for Vernon identify theft crime spree

May 10, 2020 - 5:28 PM

A Lower Mainland man who fraudulently bought a Jeep with a $50,000 car loan he took out in someone else's name, will spend another year behind bars, after being sentenced for identity theft fraud in Vernon which involved more than a dozen different victims.

David Robert Anderson was responsible for a series of smash and grab robberies from vehicles parked outside gyms and rec centres in Vernon in January 2018. The 34-year-old stole wallets from the vehicles and then used the identities to rack up more than $6,000 in purchases from various Vernon stores.

Anderson was arrested in Vernon in January 2018 and charged with 41 different offences from identity theft and fraud to assaulting a police officer with a weapon and dangerous driving. He later pleaded guilty to 11 of the offences.

On May 8, with all parties appearing by phone due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson was sentenced for his Vernon crime spree as well earlier identity fraud crimes committed in the Lower Mainland.

Provincial Court Judge Richard Hewson said on Jan. 3, 2018, a woman had her vehicle broken into while it was parked outside Fitness West Gym in Vernon. Her identity documents and credit and debits cards were stolen.

Two days later another vehicle parked outside the gym was broken into and ID and credit cards were stolen. Anderson's crime spree continued in much the same vein, targeting vehicles parked at gyms and rec centres and snatching purses, laptops and identity documents.

During one botched break-in, a member of the public recorded the licence plate of the Jeep Anderson was driving.

The court heard the Jeep was purchased using a $50,000 vehicle loan obtained in someone else's name. The individual had their wallet stolen, also while at the gym, and was not aware of the loan until they checked their credit file.

Over the days surrounding the car break-ins, Anderson and Desiree Denise Kathleen Fisher, described by the judge as his "partner in crime" used stolen IDs to take out lines of credit and purchased spent $6,000 of goods at Best Buy and The Bay.

At no point during the sentencing hearing was it explained how Anderson managed to use the stolen identity documents and credit cards for the purchases.

Following tips from the victims, police identified Anderson and called him pretending to be from Best Buy telling him the TV he'd bought was ready for collection.

Police arrested Fisher inside Best Buy but Anderson fled in a U-Haul truck — which he'd fraudulently rented — and rammed into police cars trying to escape. Police deployed a spike belt which he swerved around only catching one tire. Anderson continued driving and deliberately attempted to hit an officer - who had to jump into a ditch to avoid him.

At one point police spoke to Anderson on his cell phone and he said he needed heroin and cash and would not stop for the police. Ultimately, Anderson crashed into a ditch near Ellison Park and was arrested.

Fisher was sentenced in August, 2019 to a six-month conditional sentence, served in the community and not in custody.

The court heard Anderson had a stable family upbringing and had previously worked as a car salesman. An earlier criminal record for identity theft in 2012 prevented him from working in this field again. The court heard he was addicted to heroin.

Along with the Vernon offences, Anderson was also sentenced for fraudulently taking out a line of credit at a store in the Lower Mainland and purchasing two watches worth $7,600 in 2017.

The Crown asked that the driving offences be sentenced separately from the identity thefts which would result in Anderson receiving a longer sentence.

Judge Hewson agreed and sentenced Anderson four and a half years of jail time for 15 separate offences.

With credit for time already served, Anderson will serve another 11 months behind bars.


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