LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – State Police say they have arrested a man after he stole the identity of Timothy Pratt, a New York State Trooper who was killed this past October.
State Police say there could be more victims of the identity theft.
It all started after police say a man stole Trooper Pratt’s identity, a nearly 30-year veteran of the State Police who was killed in a traffic accident this past October.
“We were aware of it from October 31st, the day of the funeral which was an upsetting day to begin with,” said Trooper Mark Ceipel.
On an already difficult day, while mourning the death of Trooper Pratt, New York State Police learned that somebody may have stolen his identity.
“Bring one of our own, it does hit home,” says Trooper Ceipel.
Trooper Ceipel says after two months of investigation, State Police arrested 31-year-old Steven Calderon for identity theft in the 1st and 2nd degrees.
Officials say on October 31st Calderon received $5,000 worth of credit at a downstate home depot, all using Trooper Pratt’s personal information.
Calderon bought a $1,000 washing machine, and then went to another home depot and tried to but $4,800 worth of merchandise, say police.
Trooper Ceipel says store officials became suspicious, so the workers contact Trooper Pratt’s family to confirm the person trying to make the purchase was actually Timothy Pratt.
“The daughter and family members responded that they were currently at his funeral,” said Trooper Ceipel.
Ceipel says an investigation led officials downstate to execute 2 search warrants in New York City Tuesday and arrest Calderon.
Investigators recovered merchandise and dozens of cell phones and IDs linking Calderon to an identity theft fing.
“There are more victims out there,” says Trooper Ceipel.
But as officials continue to investigate, Ceipel notes evidence indicates Calderon did not specifically target Trooper Pratt.
“He did make a statement that had he known he was a police officer he probably would have not used that,” said Trooper Ceipel.
The investigation is ongoing. Trooper Ceipel expects more charges for Calderon as well as more arrests related to the case in the future.
Calderon remains in Saratoga County Jail on $50,000 cash, $100,000 bond. He’ll be back in court next week.