ID Thief Leaves Stolen Property, Picture Behind

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Sandra Yi ReportingA careless thief leaves behind a clue that gives him away. Now police are asking for help to identify him.

Det. Scott Nesbitt, Midvale Police Dept.: "Someone's bound to know him cause it's probably not his first crime that he's ever committed."

Police believe the man is an identity thief. They say he had a safe full of stolen property.

The suspect made it easy for police to find out. When he checked out of a motel, he accidentally left the safe behind. It contained a fake ID with his picture on it.

Det. Scott Nesbitt: "His picture is on one of the counterfeit id's that we found."

A clerk confirmed the man was staying at the Midvale motel. On Friday he checked out, leaving behind evidence of his crimes.

Det. Scott Nesbitt: "And when they cleaned out his room, they found a safe in there."

Inside was a cache of stolen goods, savings bonds totaling 39 hundred dollars, credit cards, passports, a stack of blank checks, even a check made out to a cell phone company.

Det. Scott Nesbitt: "Either he or somebody he knows has been out stealing mail it looks like. Most of the stuff we've looked through that we found is all from the Salt Lake area."

Police say the man didn't mean to leave the safe behind. In fact, he went back to the motel when he realized what he had done.

Det. Scott Nesbitt: "That's unusual cause they usually don't want to take that chance, but I guess he had enough invested in this to do that."

But the man took off when managers told him police were on their way. Investigators believe drugs are the motive.

Det. Scott Nesbitt: "I investigate these types of crimes all the time, and the majority of the time, usually it's methamphetamine related. They're addicts, and this is the way for them to make money so they can buy the stuff."

Police say, don't make it easy for them.

Det. Scott Nesbitt: "When you know your mail is going to get delivered, what time of day it is, go out and get it right after it's delivered so nothing sits in your mailbox. If you have to mail stuff, go to a post office."

And of course, don't leave anything valuable in your car.

Midvale Police will be contacting victims they can identify.

If you have any information, or recognize the man in the picture, give them a call.

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